Extreme Sadism & Violence

What started as a wave of Hollywood serial killer movies and darkly violent horror in the 90s, has deteriorated in the 21st century into a larger wave of movies focusing on extreme, brutal, over-the-top, nasty, psychologically intense violence and torture. This includes the so-called 'Torture-Porn' sub-genre and the wave of nasty French horror movies that serve over-the-top brutality and sadism without the levels of extreme gore that gorehounds expect. Listed here are the most extreme, as well as the violent milestones of the 90s, most of them mainstream movies that take pride in finding new extreme ways to display or explore sadistic violence on screen. See also Ryan Nicholson, Nick Palumbo.


Eden Lake  
A surprisingly good and intense wildness-survival thriller that earns its violence with realism and three-dimensional characters. This is the movie Last House on the Left should have been, albeit it focuses on bad parenting and criminally violent teenagers instead of exploitative backwoods psychos. A couple on romantic vacation encounter a gang of young hoodlums. It starts with rudeness and annoyances, and escalates to shocking levels of violence, with realistic reactions amongst the teenagers, all driving the adults to desperate, nihilistic measures. It flirts with the border of excess, piling on a bit too many physical and emotional tortures, but retains its visceral grip. The ending feels too bleak and depressing, but it drives its point one last time to the gut. Think of this as a more extreme Lord of the Flies, where the deserted island is replaced by very bad parenting. A fitting companion piece to Miike's Scars of the Sun (also good), and the more down-to-earth and restrained Cherry Tree Lane which is good for a single watch.

Underrated, and very dark crime thriller, that I would never have expected from Joel Schumacher, dealing with snuff films. Nicolas Cage is a detective hired to track down an alleged snuff movie with unknown authenticity and a missing girl into the hells of extreme underground pornography. The movie intensely and correctly focuses on the effect of this world on the mind of the detective and his new-found acquaintance (Joaquin Phoenix), and the darkness increases slowly as he digs deeper. Relatively non-explicit, and it tries hard to show only what it has to, but the subject matter, Cage's performance, and plot events are so dark that this will disturb you in any case. An intense, balanced and thoughtful exploration of dark perversity.

Hunt, The  
The umpteenth adaptation of the idea from The Most Dangerous Game where people hunt other people for sport, and possibly the best use of it, in the form of a very sneaky whip-smart satire. This is the movie that Battle Royale could have been, except here the target is not violence between generations and between teenagers, but a wicked portrayal of the battle between liberals and conservatives in the form of a highly entertaining ultra-violent action-comedy (emphasis on action and violence). The fact that it insulted both sides is a good sign, and indeed it spares no barbs against the stupidity on both sides. Except it also has two highly intelligent women on both sides playing for keeps. The violence and action are superbly entertaining, sometimes quite gory, but it's not really a gore movie. The satirical comedy elevates the movie to really good. And Betty Gilpin as the sharp, sexy, personality-rich and extremely capable female protagonist, single-handedly elevates the movie to something one can't wait to watch again. Her witty delivery and character is something to behold.

Natural Born Killers  
A controversial attack on violence and its worship by the masses and media. The stylistic, even avant-garde approach by Oliver Stone and the over-the-top levels of violence and depravity sickened many people, but this movie does have a message and it is done with a near-excess of style and talent. For example, depicting the incestuous father and dysfunctional family as an old entertaining comedy sitcom is a stroke of genius. Most of the movie follows the antics of an 'enamored' wild couple in a journey of violence, sex, courthouse antics, jail, and beyond, and all the while their popularity soars.

Park's most twisted entry in his trilogy of cruel vengeance films. An annoying, garrulous man is imprisoned in a tiny apartment for 15 years by an unknown enemy. When released, games are played with him as he tries to figure out who is after him, bent on revenge and dark thoughts while developing a strange relationship with a sweet woman. As usual with Park, realistic plot and characters are secondary to style, drives and ideas, but these abstractions manage to take over the movie in a delirious peak of twisted and cruel creativity. Unique and intense scene after scene explores cruelty, disturbed minds and revenge with inspired cinematography.

Pulp Fiction  
Practically the cinematic event of the decade. It had the whole world buzzing and inspired a slew of copycats and followers. The unconventional structure of the movie, telling at least three intertwining stories not necessarily in chronological order was a big influence on other movies. But the real star is the smorgasbord of standout characters, each with his or her own fleshy personality and acted by well known actors. Add to that Tarantinos talent for fascinating, quirky, down-to-earth dialog and you have a winner. Of course the depravity and violence of most of the characters and events helped too, featuring things like sodomite rapists, religious assassins and gimps.

Fincher delivers another unusually disturbing, intelligent movie, this time reminiscent of Silence of the Lambs, except this movie created inspired own clones. An intelligent detective and his aide are tracking down a deranged murderer following some gruesome killings that seem to be following a pattern of the seven deadly sins. The killer is frighteningly methodical and seems to have a religious message for the world. The death scenes are especially gruesome due to their methodically twisted and extreme nature, and have been copied many times since. The twisted ending is nothing short of brilliance. A pioneer amongst serial killer movies and still unequaled.

Silence of the Lambs  
Possibly the most popular horror and serial killer movie ever made, featuring a smart FBI agent in search of a seriously demented serial murderer who kidnaps his victims, and then softens their skin for days before skinning and killing them. To help understand this mind, the agent seeks the help of Hannibal the Cannibal, another serial murderer who happens to be a brilliant, creepy psychologist currently incarcerated and under observation. Matters build up and get very dark, disturbing and creepy on several levels, and the level of intelligence is kept high until the disquieting end. A classic game-changer in the genre.

Why Don't You Just Die!  
Russian ultra-violent black-comedy that brings to mind Tarantino and Guy Ritchie films, except that it's somehow both more violent and comical than something like Pulp Fiction. The violence almost looks like a cartoon sometimes, but that's mainly thanks to the dynamic camera-work, lively soundtrack and over-the-top acts of violence, some of which are quite gruesome, so you find yourself laughing out loud while cringing at the same time. It's got the plot structure made popular by Tarantino where strange things happen, then new back-stories are introduced to solve some puzzlers and raise new questions, while the characters involved turn out to be increasingly screwed up. In this case, there's a young guy on a mission to kill a brutish man, only the battle keeps going for the whole movie as constant new twists are introduced. There's a bit of graphic torture and plenty of ultra-bloody violence, but it's all about the black comedy and characters. Extremely entertaining.

Of Some Interest

American Mary  
In some ways this is part Strangeland, part Nip/Tuck, part May, but mostly its own creation. One would expect a horror movie about body modification and surgery in this day and age to be all about the gornography and torture, but this nicely done movie surprises with its focus on the people and story, mixing just the right amount of restraint and body horror in the gore scenes, old-school style. The fact that it restrains itself during sadistic torture scenes, whereas most of the gore is shown in consensual surgery, sometimes feels as if the film-makers want us to sympathize with her. Not to mention that there's a cliched detective that thinks of her as a victim. But who can sympathize with a psychotic? In any case, the lack of graphic torture is very welcome since we have had too much of it lately. Katharine Isabelle pulls off another difficult role of a medical student that descends into a world of underground surgery, body-modification freaks, and revenge, her character regressing via leaps and bounds (too quickly if you ask me) spurred on by a trauma, the need for money, and pressure from her new-found clients. One flaw of this movie is the misandry, where almost every man is a violent pig and where rape somehow deserves a punishment a thousand times greater than the crime. Other flaws include the unrealistic characterizations, and some plot lines that feel undeveloped. But the good aspects, including the memorable characters that transform themselves into Betty Boop or a plastic doll, make it a strong horror movie.

American Psycho  
A now-classic satire about a rich, narcissistic man in the 80s with a meaningless job, no personality and materialistic obsessions who turns psychotic and goes on a murdering rampage. The superficial nature of consumerism and slick pursuit of outer perfection create a reality and character inside him that becomes increasingly angry and desperate for power and recognition through a world created by his own mind, leading to a glamorization of ultra-violence. The portrayal and message is right on the mark, but the problem here is that the movie focuses too much on one despicable, violent, over-the-top exploit after another instead of exploring his psychology deeper (the book is much more violent). It runs out of ideas after the first half hour and the surprise ending only detracts by making you think about the complicated twist in the plot instead of the satire. In other words, the character study and satire of a typical everyday 'American psycho' are drowned in this over-the-top approach, despite the fact that is the world from his point of view.

Battle Royale  
An extremely popular and slickly filmed pulp b-movie about a future where teenagers are violent delinquents and as an illogical disciplinary procedure, grown-ups send a whole team of class-mates to an island and set them off on each other in a sadistic game. The rules of the game are that only one person leaves the island alive, each of the students gets a useful or not-so-useful weapon, and they are kept moving and at each other's throats by disallowing more and more areas on the island. If a rule is broken, an electronic neck collar kills the bearer. Trust and friendships break down as even gentle teenage girls give in to the stress and carnage and chop up their best friends. Extremely violent, but so over-the-top, crude and nonsensically stupid (especially the incoherent ending), that it can't be taken seriously as the social commentary it wants to be.

Belko Experiment, The  
After Battle Royale came the sequels and copycats and the terrible Hunger Game franchise. This one belongs in the same sub-genre and features yet another excuse to watch a sadistic 'social experiment' game where a hundred people kill each other out of fear. In this case, it takes place in an office building. The writing is by James Gunn (Slither), and it is serviceable and solid as far this kind of exploitation goes, and the movie also features quite a few surprisingly top-drawer actors. The violence is, as expected, ubiquitous, but well balanced, and it is pretty gory by mainstream standards with dozens of exploding and smashed heads, but not more than that. The truth is, however, I found the identically themed 'The Human Race' (2013) somewhat more interesting, entertaining and original even though it is rated lower.

A borderline entry into the torture genre and a Hostel clone complete with annoying frat-boys trying to get laid in a foreign country (Mexico) and encountering local brutality instead. The Mexican village is run by a group of scary cultists that even keep the police away through fear, and the writing is based on a true story. A lot of the gore is off-screen and the movie is mostly an effective, darkly violent thriller, but there are two sadistic torture scenes and a constant mood of nihilistic violence. Hostel is easy to improve on so when I say this is better than Hostel, it's only moderate praise.

Christmas Cruelty  
The title says it at all, if somewhat understatedly. This unique slice of Norwegian cruelty combines holiday levity with extreme brutality like no other movie I've seen. One moment you are watching a silly and laid-back slacker comedy, the next scene has a killer do things like power-saw a baby to death with happy holiday music in the background. This killer combines extreme knife-rape and brain-bashing with doing laundry and making himself a sandwich, as if both are on the same level, all the while the soundtrack keeps belting out its holiday cheer. Although most of the movie involves some youngsters partying and having fun with masks and whatnot, combined with some background on the killer, this only sets you up for the mind-boggling brutality of last third. Although some scenes are quite gory, this is more about the cruelty. Grindhouse cult material.

A serial killer movie following Silence of the Lambs's footsteps, but this one with a twisted theme of food. An Australian cop is after people in Germany who want to be eaten, and people in the USA who feed and take care of submissive women until they reach 700 pounds and die. The fat, violence and gore are disgusting enough, but what really sets this movie off into the land of the disturbing are the psychological aspects: The neurotic cop has an equally disgusting relationship with a (thin) bitch-slut, the Feeder has endless philosophies about female happiness and consumerism and a twisted past with his mother, and the Gainer (AKA fat woman) is twistedly submissive and ferociously loves and protects her demented feeder. It's crude, over-the-top, often unconvincing, but still extremely hard to watch and relentless.

When Japan decides to show what it can do with the torture porn genre, you just know it's going to be extreme. This is the torture movie to end all torture movies as far as extreme sadistic violence is concerned, and I can't imagine a movie ever topping it. There is not much plot; the setup is a deeply disturbed psychotic who kidnaps a young couple to test their mettle and excite him with their feats of endurance and noble human behaviour, and the whole movie is just a bunch of torture sequences. What makes this extreme is that it perfectly combines psychology, touching human behaviour, the most extremely gruesome tortures imaginable, a very disturbing mental profile, a knowledge of when to let the movie breathe so that we don't get too desensitized, and truly sick games that psychologically ties one victim to the other which makes everything 100 times worse. There's plenty of gore, but the movie, being the focused monster that it is, is much more interested in facial expressions. Well done, but do you really want to watch this?

Hardcore Henry  
The idea of an ultra-violent first-person action movie that feels like a computer game has been done before, and taken to an even further extreme by Hotel Inferno. It is also reminiscent of Crank in some ways with its constant ridiculously over-the-top flowing action. There is no plot here, only a setup and a grand reveal at the ending just like with a computer game: You wake up as a half-robot, have to escape the evil man and his endless swarm of soldiers, collect as many weapons as you can on the way while given regular pointers towards your next goal, and eventually have to save the girl. The twist ending is one of those nonsensical things that negate the rest of the movie once you think about it. The violence is constant, creative and extreme, with lots of brutal, sometimes splattery, kills. The technical skills of everyone involved is very impressive, including the stunts, parkour, special effects and even the efforts put into making the camera-work relatively less shaky. Unfortunately, this movie also demonstrates why first-person movies meant to be watched by a passive audience simply don't work. When you are the one moving, you simply don't have to put in this much effort to avoid motion sickness or headaches, I'm guessing due to the way your eyes and brain react to movement. Your eyes are not just passive cameras, they adjust, turn off and on, blink, and are thus prepared for a sudden turn of the head, etc. whereas, with a camera/screen, your eyes are not auto-adjusting. The effect is the same as when someone is forcibly moving your head against your will for an hour and half. It also often doesn't let you see the action properly. So although I put in the effort and admired the work put into this, especially with some grand set-pieces, it was too tiring, and the empty plot and ending didn't make it rewarding either.

H6: Diary of a Serial Killer  
Vicious Spanish serial killer movie that belongs together with Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer for its more realistic and clinical approach. A man who kills his girlfriend in a crime of passion decides to become a meticulous serial killer with a vision and keep a diary for posterity. He lures prostitutes and vagrants into his inherited house, then tortures and rapes them for a week before carving them up with a chainsaw to free their soul. The gore is off-screen but not the screaming and psychological nastiness. Feels brutal due to its realism despite one or two missed details.

The highly anticipated sequel to Silence of the Lambs had huge shoes to fill on every front and unsurprisingly, it failed on all of them. However, it remains a moderately entertaining, stylistic and gruesome movie thanks to Ridley Scott. Hannibal is on the loose, and when he's not filling his life with art and erudition, he is killing people in gruesome ways and cooking their flesh. But he has become less menacing, even campy now. An even more twisted person is after him with gruesome plans for his demise while the FBI is anxiously awaiting his recapture. Moore can't fill Foster's shoes, and the intellectual substance and horror aspects of the previous outing are replaced with style and some twisted gore.

Hills Have Eyes, The (2006)  
I never liked the original so this gorier remake is actually a slight improvement. The plot is the classic people-get-lost-and-encounter-violent-backwoods-folk that the original helped pioneer, only in this case it involves a whole family that encounters a group of nasty nuclear-fallout mutants in the desert hills. The first half sets up the characters, and the second is merely one violent fight, chase, death or nasty rape after another with gratuitous brutality including burning alive, mutant rape by creatures with a thing for mother's milk, and forced incest. This is pretty much pointless nastiness except for the fact that the action is grippingly visceral, brutal and energetic. As usual, the Hollywood mainstream teenage crowd claim this to be super-gory but it's more like lots of brutal, bloody violence with various weapons rather than a splatter movie. Followed by the expected idiotic and violent sequel that uses an Aliens 2 plot-line involving the military and some ridiculously super-human mutants.

Hostel 1 & 2    
Way over-hyped Eli Roth horror flick starts with 40 minutes of annoying frat-boys trying to get laid in a boob and sex comedy, then a good middle-section of visceral horror where they find out that Slovakia caters some repulsive and grisly services, then a dumb all-too-convenient ending about revenge. That leaves only 30 minutes of good stuff. As with Cabin Fever, the gore is minimal, even off-screen, making me think that it's the Hollywood slasher crowd that hypes up this flick, but the torture scenes are gruesome nevertheless. Some good touches, like the killer street-kids, the discussion with a bloodthirsty American whether to kill slow or fast, and the next-day not-so-glamorous girls without their makeup, but disappointing overall. Perhaps he'll get it right the next time and stay focused. Part 2 is a mostly conventional but better sequel featuring much less annoying women as both victims and killers, with similar minimal gore but plenty of psychological nastiness, and with a neat payoff at the end after an hour of dull unsurprising horror.

House with 100 Eyes, The  
Lazy found-footage, some torture-porn, a snuff film-maker and gratuitous violence and sadism. Sounds like another pointless extreme movie, except this one has some things that make it slightly more interesting: Charisma, good acting and chemistry, making the developments all the more disturbing. There's a snuff film-maker whose ambition is to make the ultimate 'entertaining' snuff, and who has an unusual relationship with his Stepford-esque wife who has devoted herself to him and his snuff ways. In August Underground style, they set out to find some new victims for their torture basement and film, but, reminiscent of Man Bites Dog, there's a combination of talking to the camera to share killing expertise, with an intruding reality, and, realistically, banal things keep going wrong with his plans to make a perfect snuff film. The torture is extreme and nasty, made more nasty by the good acting of the gentle victim, and the breakdown of the violence for the chaotic climax is tense.

Human Centipede (First Sequence), The  
The mad-scientist genre spliced with torture-porn, producing this notoriously disturbing movie. A German scientist kidnaps people in order to perform his dream experimental surgery on them that involves joining humans together via their gastric systems and disabling their kneecaps, linking them mouth to anus with all the disgusting implications that you would expect. The surgery isn't too graphic and the concept could never work scientifically, but the twisted mind of the doctor, the sadism and various humiliations are all extreme and fill the movie from start to finish. Several things make this movie special: The truly creepy and convincing performance by Dieter Laser as the doctor, the brilliant casting of a Japanese and some spoiled, dumb, ditzy girls as the victims, and the fact that this movie takes itself seriously and avoids exploitation and horror cliches, leading to a realistic climax involving policemen. Very uniquely disturbing and disgusting, but it retains its right to be a horror movie due to the way it balances its horror, human angle, realism and nastiness. A prime example of how far nasty horror can be taken, to the point that you wouldn't want to see it anymore, and I don't include gornography in this statement. I hope this is finally the apex and it's all downhill from here.

Ultra-violent and sadistic entertainment from an Indonesian and Japanese co-production. There's a serial killer in Japan who doesn't seem to have much of a modus operandi, killing anyone in any way that suits his fancy, except he is obviously addicted to violence torture-games and murder, and is obsessed with making the ultimate snuff-video-art, posting his video works on the internet. In the meantime, a journalist with a ruined life in Indonesia has a violent encounter that triggers his dark side and launches an intense vigilante spree as he goes after the twisted crooks that ruined his life. When he posts his acts online, he makes a connection with the serial-killer who goads him into developing his art further. The ultra-violence doesn't just come from these two people however, as the movie gleefully piles on the sick sadists and even a demented mother, all resulting in an endless spree of brutality and utter chaos as these crazies clash in unexpected ways. This movie is part intense action, part sick sadism, part slick dark horror, part exploitation.

Lowlife (2017)  
Of all the many Pulp Fiction clones back in the day, the only one that managed to come close was the very underrated 'Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead'. This one is 23 years late to the party, and although it has a nifty story structure similar to that movie where the story-lines of several criminals cross paths back and forth in time, the characters are not quite up to par. But it does give it a valiant shot, as valiant as the fallen champion of Mexican poor, the wrestler El Monstruo, now somehow working for the biggest scum of the Earth. This beast processes humans like they're meat for either organ harvesting or prostitution, and the several lowlifes, drug-addicts and ex-cons surrounding him can only be swept up in the wave of crime, even when they are trying to turn over a new leaf. This one has much more sordid hopeless drama and human pathos than the black comedy of Pulp Fiction, and the characters don't always work with very conflicting motivations, some of them not quite making sense after you put it all together at the end of the movie. There are also some splattery deaths in the vein of 'Brawl on Cell Block 99', but almost all in the beginning and end of the movie. Almost great, and definitely worth a watch, but lacking that extra x-factor that would make it great.

A Swedish horror movie that wants to be an American backwoods flick in the vein of Wrong Turn (and dozens of others featuring backwoods murderous mutant freaks). The accents, faces, locations and the fact that the hillbillies speak Swedish all take getting used to. Otherwise, it's just a continuous stream of violence, from the beginning featuring a boot stomp to a pregnant belly and burying people alive, to a movie-long chase-and-fight scene between equally stupid victims and freaks, each of them inexplicably ignoring some obvious dangers, pausing at critical moments, and even stopping for a dramatic moment in the middle of a road while they are running for their lives. That said, the endless visceral energy and brutal escalating fights do make for some almost-good action and horror.

Model Hunger  
Debbie Rochon directs this little horror movie that combines camp, sadistic torture, and female body-image issues. Lynn Lowry gives it her all in a role of a psychotic cannibalistic ex-model, bitter at stupid women that continue the cycle that led to her humiliation. Other than Lowry and the psychological angle though, this is a rough-around-the-edges, silly and campy movie with nasty torture scenes that mostly hide more than they show, but which suddenly surprisingly turn to some graphic gore in random scenes. There is also a very over-the-top campy TV show within the movie that revels in repulsive fat transvestites as symbols of women's freedom from body-image issues (huh?). It's mostly about Lowry's disturbed rants, cruelty and nasty cannibalism though.

A copy-paste job of a horror movie blending elements of Hellraiser, torture-porn and various other horror movies that you can't quite place, but know you've seen before. Several people's ends are criss-crossed as they each fall prey to hells of their own making, crossing over into a dimension of hell (a basement service tunnel) populated by Hellraiser-esque demons and back again by various means. There's a man who tortures as a profession who's trying to save his disabled kid brother, a husband trying to revive his dead wife while he takes 'care' of her body, and a betrayed goth bartender. The structure is all back-story, not allowing any momentum since the movie is always going backwards, the torture and various other elements seem thrown together without a point, and it's not gory or strong enough like Hellraiser, especially since it feels uninspired as well as incohesive. The one inspired bizarre moment is the pig-demon-creature that sings a kiddie sing-along suicide sound, and it does have some unrealized potential.

Nexxt (Frau Plastic Chicken Show)  
Scandalous Hungarian satire about the media's and the public's fascination with violence. Frau Plastic Chicken is hosting an episode of her show that combines two special guests: The 'man that Clockwork Orange was based on' who is now an upstanding citizen except he has an ultra-violent past that he doesn't like to talk about. And, a materialistic serial killer that films himself killing prostitutes in his rich apartment for fun, and who is apprehended live on the show then brought as a guest. The play games with Alex and seem more interested in his past that he doesn't want to talk about, we get to see Max's violent videos involving gruesome torture, and they bring people from the audience to tease and interact with the violent guests. And then the guests get to compete in a weird confessional game, which doesn't end well. Nothing new and quite pointless, but off-the-wall in its satire.

Passion of the Christ, The  
Perhaps the point of this movie was to experience the suffering that Christ went through and evoke some kind of guilty religious experience. Perhaps the acting and direction are amazingly good. But couldn't there have been more of an emphasis on his teachings instead of the gore? Weren't the documented punishments enough without Gibson inventing new ones to splatter the screen with? Many people were crucified at the time and it seems Gibson's agenda was to show his passion as the ultimate gore-drenched pain whether the details were true or not. Does a human body really contain that much blood that can be spilled without him dying three times over? Did the Romans have to be so cartoonishly violent? And perhaps it can be argued that the script is not anti-Jew (not all Jews in the movie were bad), but it is anti-Judaism because it portrays the Jewish spiritual leaders of the time as bloodthirsty, power-hungry, cliched politicians. It gives humanity to Pontius Pilate but leaves the Jews with empty, motiveless cliches. It even edits out the more sympathetic Jewish leaders who were mentioned in the New Testament. Did he bother researching into the methods of the time of carefully judging false prophets? Did he explore the motives and viewpoints of the Jews? Did he explore the story of Christ, his teachings, his relationship with his disciples, his spiritual leadership, or otherwise try to inspire people? No, he just made a gory, disturbing movie and showed highlights from the Bible in slow motion to make a splash and rake in the cash. Some badly spoken Aramaic does not an authentic movie make.

Red White & Blue  
Here's one description of this movie: A female serial killer with the morals of a gnat kills men by the dozens by choosing to be a slut. She somehow befriends a sadistic man, and when she gets in trouble, this triggers his sadistic and nasty streak, causing even more deaths. The movie is grindhouse pointless nastiness, and although it holds back from showing the more graphic details for the most part, the ending torture scene is so graphic, it wipes out 90 minutes of restraint in a single scene. Now here's an alternative description of the movie: The theme is the cycle of violence and how damaged individuals pass on their disease. A sexually traumatized girl who is incapable of love lashes out at the world in the only way she knows how. A ex-war veteran with a damaged psyche sees her as a broken kitten he must protect, but when she gets in trouble with a broken young man with a dying mother, his damaged mind lashes out with all the violence he has seen and experienced, unable to control it any longer. Personally, I lean more towards the first description of this movie. But the fact that this movie manages to be both at once, should be cause for pause. The movie earns both descriptions because it provides plausible details, psychology and plot twists that explain their nasty behaviour. I'm going to classify this as one of the very rare movies that manages to be both powerful, and repulsively grim and nasty, just like Gaspar Noé's films.

Resurrection County  
Critics of this backwoods horror film keep pointing out the unoriginality of it, but neglect the subtle re-imagining of this genre and superb characterizations. Yes, we have a group of youngsters camping in redneck country that find themselves in a brutal survive & fight scenario with the crazy locals. But the writer of this one took pains to escalate the violence step by step instead of just throwing in some instantly bloodthirsty rednecks. Every scene justifies the escalated and unpredictable violence in the next one, at least in a primal, animalistic or emotional sense. And the rednecks aren't just Deliverance style lunatics but have their own internal human logic, warped though it may be. The protagonists make some stupid decisions here and there, and aren't really likeable, but they behave naturally as well. Thus, the tension keeps building throughout the movie backed by good writing and acting. There is relatively a lower amount of on-screen brutality compared to its peers, but it is more brutal, merciless, and disturbing because of its strengths. That said, the biggest flaw is also that it is so unrelenting. It doesn't breathe or show any mercy or allow anyone to behave like a human being once it gets going, leaving you only with a very unpleasant experience and nothing else. Rank this one up with Eden Lake, Storm Warning and Wrong Turn.

Run! Bitch Run!  
This one outdoes Tarantino in it's 70s throwback exploitation trash homage. It manages to reproduce the era, amping up the trash without making it feel like a modern horror film that just shoehorns in as much nastiness as it can for its own sake. In other words, there's a story and characters you can sink your teeth into, and the focus isn't on torture and gore, although it serves plenty of nastiness. Two Catholic girls selling bibles knock on the wrong door and fall prey to a nasty gang of criminals, including a horny female nasty piece of work that will do anything to keep herself entertained. This is not only a rape & revenge movie, but also features nunsploitation, lesbianism, necrophilia and even a bit of nursesploitation. Visceral trash that delivers for the exploitation crowd.

Saw Trilogy      
Yet another contrived serial killer series that tries to follow in Se7en's footsteps, only in this case the message the killer has is personal, not religious. The Jigsaw Killer is a brilliant and demented sadist who comes up with ridiculously complex and psychologically twisted fatal traps that forces the victims to brutally damage and mutilate themselves to overcome fears and learn an extreme life-affirming lesson, or face death. The horror is gruesome, inventive and sadistic, with twisted moral lessons, but the writing feels contrived and the horrors made complex just to entertain and surprise a bloodthirsty audience. In the first of the series, two men find themselves chained in a filthy bathroom and have to find a way out while the psychological pressure rises and revelations induce desperation. But details don't face up to logic, and the main actor is painfully terrible. The second movie ups the ante with a convoluted setup involving the killer playing games with his own captors, while 7 trapped people are played off each other with elaborate sadistic puzzles. Better in some aspects, but also predictable and even more contrived this time. Part 3 of this continuous story is probably the best, writing a dark intense scenario that ties the killer and his protege with the victims using Se7en-like developments. It also features, by far, the most nasty and cringe-inducing gore and brutality involving Hellraiser-like chains, rib-cage ripping, slow limb-twisting, and brain surgery. Part 3 is one of the most dark and horrifically intense entries in the torture-porn genre, but it's also relentlessly tiresome; I miss the days when killers just put a bullet through your head and movies didn't takes sides with serial-killers.

Just how many torture movies are going to feature a man waking up in a room, a victim of sadistic games with a psychological twist? This one is about a morally corrupt American businessman under the control of a general anti-American audience. A torturer manages the proceedings, waging war against the American's five senses in gruesome torture center-pieces, and in between, there is some intense psychological and political confrontations and breakdowns. All of it is broadcasted over the internet and driven by the audience in a provocative twist. Obviously a hop on the torture, internet, and anti-American bandwagons, and it is repetitive, but it is pretty well done for what it is, gleefully exploiting its audience.

7 Days  
Dark Canadian revenge and torture movie that has its heart in the right place. Namely, it focuses on the emotions and psychology of the torturer and thus turns torture into the horror that it is, instead of the exploitative entertainment that the movie industry turned it into. A doctor's eight year old daughter is raped and killed, and he takes matters into his own hands to attempt to satisfy his dark and angry thoughts. Again, although this plot is not new and it sounds like an action-revenge movie, it is not. The writing, the character's behaviour, the doctor's systematic method of achieving his goals, his distraught wife, the policemen, including one detective haunted by his wife's murder, and even the victim, are all magnificently portrayed, all affected in different ways, as the doctor keeps torturing his man in gruesome and graphic ways only a doctor could come up with, his mind deteriorating further as a result. Chan-wook Park may have made a definitive stylish collection of brutal vengeance films, but he didn't have the heart, subtlety and discipline of this one. A dark movie without flaw, but like Gaspar Noé's movies, it is not one I could recommend experiencing.

Finnish slice of ridiculous violence that is part a more extreme John Wick, part Roadrunner cartoon (without the comedy), part Rambo IV. Take one Finnish ex-soldier who refuses to die, and his pot of gold, versus a whole Company of Nazi soldiers with nothing to lose, and one bleak post-war landscape. Desperation and determination and nothing to lose on both sides lead to endless violence as one tries to brutally kill the other and steal his gold. Mines are actually thrown, bodies explode, gaping wounds closed with gasoline, horses blown apart, knives used to impale, etc. This would be brutal and savage if not for the fact that is it as physically and humanly impossible as a Roadrunner cartoon and thus it loses any impact. The action gets a zero from me, but the location, actors and cinematography are worth a watch.

Thai serial-killer thriller with a twist, by the maker of Art of the Devil. There's a serial-killer in a red cape slashing sexual predators and gay pedophiles in gruesome ways involving dismembered genitalia. A corrupt killer cop in jail is released to help with the desperate investigation once he claims to have information about the killer. The movie then combines investigations with flashbacks as the corrupt cop's childhood past is slowly revealed from which he claims to have this personal information about the killer. The violence is brutal, and when it isn't violent, there is sexual violence, nasty deviants and rampant pedophilia. The final twist is warped on several levels. Clumsily directed and lurid, but its plot is not without merits.

Somebody Down There Likes Me  
Czech exploitation, rape-revenge, torture, some supernatural elements, a touch of gore, and black humor. It all starts rather drearily nasty and sleazy as a devout Christian family man is mugged and confined to a wheelchair, and before you know it, his bitch of a wife is having affairs with sleaze-bags right in front of him. When she brings upon the family and her daughter some vicious and nasty hoodlums (in an endless scene of violence right in front of the helpless father), his mind snaps and the devil walks in offering him an alternative path to deal with life, taking him on a tour of fury, torture, and sex which seems all too convenient and easy at first, but then he shows him the true dark depths that a human soul can sink to. The only redeeming aspect is the black humor of the devil, but otherwise, this is strictly for the exploitation crowd.

Storm Warning  
This is yet another backwoods horror movie about a couple (not teenagers for a change) that find themselves lost in the middle of nowhere with some pot-growing sadistic, animalistic, Australian rednecks, whose father is even worse. The humiliation, abuse and terror grow slowly until the woman decides to fight back. A horror movie is often considered feministic if the woman doesn't play the victim and doesn't scream, but here, she does all the vicious work while the guy stands helpless, which may appeal to some I guess, but the real problem is that they make her out to be a girly wuss for the first half that can't even kill a fish. Some killing traps (flying fish hooks) are also unrealistically elaborate and gruesome, like something out of Saw. The movie is slow-building and predictable at first, but, like Wrong Turn, it is surprisingly well crafted and well acted, building up towards a vicious and completely nihilistic last third involving penis traps, killer dogs and giant propellers that must be seen to be believed. It's just a pity about the flaws.

Texas Chainsaw 3D  
This is something new: A 'sequel reboot'. This one ignores all of the mostly terrible sequels and prequels and tries to continue where the first one left off, showing respect for the original. It even ignores Hooper's own mad and campy sequel. In this movie, the town folk decide to take matters into their own hands after the events of the first movie and kick-start a war against the insane Sawyer family, and leave only two accidental survivors: Leatherface, and a baby who gets adopted. Decades later, the girl return as an heiress and finds that she inherited more than she bargained for, including a huge house, a taste for meat-packing and bones, bloodthirsty neighbours, butchered friends, and Leatherface. The gore here is at the level of a Saw movie: Not over-the-top splattery, but gruesome, brutal and very bloody, including one splattery scene of a body being cut in half and Leatherface skinning somebody for a new face. For the first half this is actually pretty good, as opposed to all the bad reviews, but then the movie shoots itself in the foot with a laughable psychological impossibility, as the heiress settles into her new home.

Trailer Park of Terror  
Obviously inspired by Two Thousand Maniacs, except the Southern pride is replaced with trailer-trash-pride (whatever that is), and the splatter is replaced with a bit of modern torture-porn. The devil is only too happy to fuel a massacre after a trailer queen's boyfriend is killed by her fellow trailerparkerites, except this seems to cause a haunting of zombie-trailer-trash hungry for meat and cheap sex, often combined. When a group of young delinquents led by a priest find themselves stranded at the site of the former massacre, they are soon fighting to save their skins, literally. It's really dumb and has almost no wit, but may be mildly entertaining as a popcorn campy horror movie.

Trip, The  
From the maker of Dead Snow comes this much better balanced and entertaining ultra-violent black comedy and thriller/action movie. An estranged married couple go to a cabin in the woods (always a good idea). To say more about the plot is to reveal the many plot twists, all of which keep upping the ante as more people and elements keep getting added to the increasingly violent situation. There is plenty of gore, but this more about the violence which is way over-the-top, even too much so, as many characters impossibly keep on fighting despite great damage, like cartoon characters. It's not the most creative and original movie, but it adds just enough light black humoristic touches to make the endless violence and even sadism entertaining with a Tarantino-esque flavor.

A thriller that is like a lite version of Se7en by way of Saw, and which uses the Internet for its kills and message. A killer is kidnapping people and setting them up in elaborate contraptions that slowly kill them the more hits he gets on his live feed, effectively turning the Internet hordes into killers. An FBI agent is trying to track him down, with all the predictable developments you would expect. The plot is a cut-and-paste job and extremely predictable, the kills are gruesome but somehow feel tame in comparison to similar movies (desensitization, or poor movie making?) and the tech-jargon, despite some evidence that they actually used some geek advice this time, is ridiculous. For one thing, if they can take down one of his mirror sites with a click of the button, they should be able to track his posts, hit counter and upload feed all of which are linked to his home. For another thing, they could have asked all the ISPs in the US to block access to that URL. But although the movie is weak, the concept is great and very timely, exposing the amazing cruelty of anonymous internet masses that we all know so well.

W Delta Z (The Killing Gene)  
An above average Se7en clone with elements of Saw. Strangely, Scar used the same concept as this movie of pitting two people against each other, torturing one until she agrees to kill the other, but this one does much more interesting things with it. A serial killer is leaving mutilated bodies behind with a biological equation etched into their flesh. A cop with complicated motives is on the trail along with his rookie assistant and two rival street gangs. The movie asks questions about the selfish gene, and whether there is any true altruism or love, but unfortunately the thinking is muddled and the killer's sadistic tests don't prove a thing. Overly convoluted plot, muddled thinking, and a low budget, but superb acting and editing, and overall, somewhat interesting. A mixed bag.

Wolf Creek  
Although I found this one only moderately twisted, it seems the masses found this violent thriller extremely disturbing. My theory is that they just aren't used to seeing women being brutally tortured in genre movies like this. Plot: Three teenagers find themselves stranded in the Australian outback and fall in the clutches of a brutally sadistic man. Violence and cat-and-mouse games ensue. The only reason this gets points is for its visceral, somewhat unpredictable development. What kills this movie however isn't its shock value, but the fact that the first half is boring, and the second half features unconvincing characters, stupid behaviour, and an impossibly omnipotent killer. If this is really based on a true story, then it's obvious that the survivor did it.

Wolf Creek 2  
A sequel that is better than the original. This is a visceral roller-coaster of sadism, and I don't think I have seen a serial killer have so much fun before in a completely unchecked rampage and wide variety of cruel games, brutal & gory murders, and general violence. This is basically about a serial killer having fun in a wild west. In this one, he not only kills and tortures every backpacker he meets, among other things he also brutally dispatches policemen in gory ways for giving him a ticket, beheads and dismembers guys very graphically in front of their girlfriends while making crude wise-cracks, has nihilistically violent car chases including unlucky kangaroos, and plays torture-quiz games with other victims. The developments are completely unpredictable since the killer enjoys playing hide & seek games and being entertained, the acting is intense, and the scenes of torture are full of personality, with the black humor of the killer adding another demented dimension to the proceedings. Unfortunately, besides the fact that the movie is all about sadism, it once again tries to loosely connect itself to real-life stories of Australian killers and victims, ending on a very nonsensical note.

Would You Rather  
Yet another riff on the torture-as-entertainment-for-rich-folk concept from Hostel, this one done rather well, which only makes it all the more sadistic. In addition, it takes it one step further and turns it into a cruel psychological game where contestants have to choose between a bad and worse choice. These decisions are constantly changed by the sadistic host to 'keep things interesting', and the various contestants sometimes surprise with their choices, as the stakes are raised and the decisions become impossibly nasty. Of course, it's only about the sadism so the movie is very limited that way despite the good writing that keeps it realistic, and it also features a stupid coincidental ending.


Among Friends  
If you ever wondered what a torture-porn movie made by a 16 year old drama queen would look like, here's your chance. A group of annoying spoiled youngsters at a party, an even more annoying holier-than-thou girl who decides to play god and teach everyone a lesson, a convenient drug that turns everyone temporarily paralyzed, and voila, a movie full of tortures for the stupidest things imaginable, like ripping off eyebrows or cutting off fingers just for spying on girls having sex. No, it's even worse than it sounds.

Anarchy Parlor  
Taking its cue from Hostel like so many did before, this features an assorted group of horny youngsters partying in Europe that encounter sadism in the form of an obsessed tattoo artist and his psycho-bitch assistant. It even features lots of sex and party scenes, and a violent street-gang, ripping off Hostel further. As far as the obsessive tattoo idea is concerned, the Japanese did this several times before with more art. So it gets zero points for originality. The horror still could have been effective, if only they focused on the simple horror of the situation instead of trying to boost the gratuitous nastiness to the detriment of the atmosphere, as well as adding two stupid twist endings. There is graphic gory skinning, but this movie is primarily about the sadism.

Are You Scared?  
In the grand humanitarian and creative spirit of the Saw franchise, this little movie that wants to be, dredges up yet another sadist that forces random spoiled youth into a game of death in order to teach them valuable life lessons. Except that the games are rigged and impossible, making this even stupider than Saw, and thus only serve the sadistic tastes of both the film-makers and audiences of game-shows. In addition, the setups and victims are even more brainless than the ones in Saw, and they don't even think of things like moving their heads, or slamming the death-devices out of their way, not to mention that they think they're in a real game-show even though they were just kidnapped and cut. While the idiotic youngsters meet their gruesome deaths in a warehouse in the form of drills to the head, self-surgery and weapon-traps in the dark, a cop and possibly the least convincing FBI profiler yet, are on the hunt, except you don't really care whether they get there in time or not. Followed by a completely nonsensical, terrible and less brutal sequel that tries to combine the slasher genre with a death game and some teenagers playing treasure hunt.

Art of the Devil 2 & 3    
Sequels in English-name only to the terrible Thai hit on HK-style black magic horror. These upgrade the nastiness and make me think of movies like Final Destination where the outlandish deaths are the focus of the movie, only in this case, the deaths are about gruesome curses rather than contrived violent coincidences. Also, the plot here is so irrelevant that the writers just keep adding back-stories, flashbacks, twists and hidden motivations, forgetting what they were doing 10 minutes ago. The theme is people that meddle with magic and curses for various purposes (revenge, lust, power) and how this comes back to bite them. So amidst the mess of sloppy dramatic snippets, we get curses flying right and left, the highlights being fish-hooks or live reptiles coming out of skin, worms, toenail torture, eyelid mutilation, a nasty blowtorch torture scene, and more.

Baby Blues  
Just a slasher movie with another killer, campy one-liners, and a sequence of deaths, none of them particularly graphic. So what is this film's claim to notoriety you ask? Two reasons: The killer is a mother who goes berzerk due to extreme postpartum depression, and her victims are her own little children. The film doesn't seem to care about this though, with all the cliched chase sequences, pacing, slasher-film rules, etc. and then some tiny little children and even a baby meet their brutal deaths. Is the slasher crowd cheering? Or are they objecting because this is about killing children this time? Who cares. I object because the movie didn't even try to make something interesting out of its controversial concepts.

Bad vs Worse  
Some incompetent young robbers break into the wrong house and encounter a life-or-death situation with a deranged serial killer. This indie 'borrows' its plot from 'The Collector', but instead of making a ridiculous torture fun-house, it goes for tension, thrills and ultra-violence. In the hands of someone that knows how to film action and thrills, it could have been good. The setup part of the film is actually not bad and goes for crime-comedy, of all things, and the acting may not be top-draw, but the actors give it a valiant shot and their characters are set up nicely for the second half, which features non-stop violence, torture and some gore with various power tools. Unfortunately it falls apart. Characters repeatedly do baffling illogical things over a dozen times just to keep the action going, including the killer and the robbers, and the camera-work is terrible, abusing the close-ups and camera movement causing headaches and lack of clarity. Just as one example, in between dealing with an active home-invasion, the killer somehow finds time to play torture games with his victim, while the robbers keep coming back for no good reason with the most ineffective weapons they can find. Of course, nobody bothers to make sure that their enemy stays down, otherwise this would have been over quickly.

Another Korean brutal revenge-horror movie perhaps modeled after Chan-wook Park or Ki-duk Kim but without the style, beauty, symbolism or subtlety. In fact, this is just a plain old savage and obvious revenge movie just barely this side of the exploitation genre with only lip-service paid to political symbolism. This makes me alone in disliking this movie. A very selfish, self-serving bitch of a woman goes on a forced vacation to an island where she grew up, only to find her best childhood friend in dire need of help: She is constantly abused by cartoonishly brutal men in a patriarchal society that even the old women of the island uphold and encourage. She is raped, beaten just for opening her mouth, her husband pays for and then abuses prostitutes in front of her, etc. but when the abuse starts overflowing out and onto her little daughter, she finally snaps, goes insane and launches a very bloody revenge spree with a small scythe, and the self-serving woman from the city finally finds it impossible to just walk away. Cartoonishly violent and cruel to the point that I burst out laughing during a revenge scene involving bean curd and a phallic knife.

Yet another real-life serial killer movie, taking its cue from Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer in its banal approach to evil and killing. Except that the character here is so banal and extremely dull, you wonder why the movie was made. According to this movie, Berdella was an average man on the surface, very active in the community, helping out especially with the rehabilitation of drug addicts while selling occult props in a flea market. Except that, under the surface he was a sadistic homosexual who kept six men in his basement and tortured them for months before killing them. The movie doesn't go for graphic torture and gore, keeping most of it off screen, but the scenes that it does include are sick and utterly pointless. But since his character is so uninteresting and the dialog is so cliched and pedestrian, we don't care about anything he does.

This prequel to the slasher movie Malevolence ups the disturbing ante by making it about a kid in training to be a serial killer. The trainer in this case is a madman who talks to a cow skull and babbles about something or another that never makes sense, which effectively allows the movie to bypass any explanation of why he is training the kidnapped boy. The training consists of a parade of girls being butchered in front of the kid, some in graphically nasty ways. Inter-weaved with these unpleasant scenes is a story of a city girl and her adopting uncle's family offering lots of character development that doesn't go anywhere. The movie makes points with its surprising and brutally simple kill scenes, but otherwise makes no sense as the killer seems to get away without anyone investigating obvious things like hordes of missing girls and illogical bodies found in a fire.

Big Bad Wolves  
Israel hops on a trend, as usual, way too late. And it's not exactly a bandwagon that makes one boast either: Torture porn. But, despite the rehashed plot used already a dozen times of police and parents seeking vigilante revenge against a pedophile sadistic murderer, this film brings a unique Israeli attitude and sense of humor to the game. It starts off well with stylish imagery introducing the horror of a predator of children. But then it makes one error after another. The humor on its own is amusing, and the horror may have worked as well as a torture movie, but they don't work together, especially with the truly grisly and sadistic torture on display. The attitude of both torturer and tortured never convince, as the movie is too busy being glibly humorous with silly family matters that keep interrupting the gratuitous sadism. The script holds back information in obvious ways on what they know about the suspect, making the movie feel disingenuous rather than clever. And, if you are inclined to interpret the movie this way, the political barbs on multi-generational Israeli dark experiences and attitudes veer from radical left-wing to radical right-wing, and the movie ends up too confused to be in either camp. In short, this one looks like it's full of potential and it has some genuinely amusing moments, but it never came together for me.

Bleeding Hearts  
This one feels like some cheap porno makers decided to take a break and direct a torture movie. Like a cheap porno, it's beyond pointless, clumsy, cheap, trashy and full of painful acting and unwanted nudity. Like so many cheap torture movies, this one has a bunch of people chewing the scenery with over-the-top acting as gleefully 'sadistic' and 'demented' killers, except this one features five sisters that rape and torture their men before killing them. It's played for laughs, I think, although I can't tell for sure since it all falls flat. Once a year, the sisters kidnap some of their fellow town-people for some sadistic fun. There's random hammer-smashing, cactus-torture, injection by a hundred different liquids, amputating of toes, psychotic games, etc. In the meantime, there's a documentary maker tracking down the story of the missing men and amazed that no-one can see what's happening. This aspect is actually funny for a couple short minutes. And finally, there are scenes from a movie within the movie that tries to be a trashy satire about a slacker version of Santa, Jesus, his black father and a gay Satan, but it's all as witless as the rest.

Blitzkrieg: Escape from Stalag 69  
Home-made terrible Nazisploitation that is torturous in more ways than one. One would assume a movie like this would embrace its limitations and just give its audience the exploitation it wants, except, for some reason, the film-makers decided to fill 135 minutes worth of endless dialogue between Nazis, torturers, and prisoners of various nationalities. Most of the accents are painful, and one even wanders between 7 different fake accents in a single sentence, and this is the format they chose to deliver 2 hours of cliched banter and catty power-games between sadistic guards, a visiting Japanese torturer, and prisoners from the USA, Scotland, Russia, and others, as well as a mean slave Capo Jew. In between all these many and endless interactions, there are scattered scenes of gratuitous nudity, torture and naked female prisoners fighting in the shower. The torture is mostly tame, except for a handful of scenes involving not one but two very gory castrations, as well as gory fingernail torture. Tatyana Kot is magnificently naked and energetic as the spirited Russian rebel, and is the only good thing in this endless trashy movie.

Boogeyman 2  
A slasher movie with a sadistic streak that lets loose with the nastiest murders it can imagine taking place in a psychiatric hospital. A brother and sister grow up scared of the Boogeyman who appeared out of nowhere from their closet and killed their parents. The sister grows up with extreme phobias while the brother is treated in the hospital. The various other patients in the hospital are youths recruited from the local teenage slasher movie and reality show, each assigned a phobia for the Boogeyman to torture and murder with. Although the camera doesn't linger too much on most of the kills, they are over-the-top in gruesome ways that the first outing never came close to, including one with worms invading a body and a knife, an acidic chemical drink, slow disemboweling, a rib-spreader, and more. The writers play with the identity of the killer while trying to throw in several supernatural and impossible events, never noticing that these elements undermine each other, and the characters and story never show any originality, making this yet another slasher hack job.

Boy Meets Girl  
Girl picks up boy in bar. Girl drugs boy. Girl psychologically tortures boy. Girl replaces other girl (why?). Girl physically tortures boy. Girl microwaves boy's hand. Girl performs surgery on boy. Girl is psychotic. Girl and boy can't act convincingly. This is one of those claustrophobic movies where everything starts and ends with the actors. If the actors are not top-class and gripping enough, everything collapses. I would appreciate what the writer was trying to do but the dialog isn't sharp either. Tries hard to be controversial but isn't.

There is an increasing trend in movies to equate melodramatic excessive violence and bleakness with dramatic realism, except that these film-makers forget that too much of this nonsense is the same as too much fluffy happiness. This endless 2.5 hour movie keeps piling it on, except that after the first half hour it becomes predictably tiresome almost to the point of becoming a comedy. Just imagine the worst, and that's what will happen next. It's a tale of a woman and the man chasing her to the ends of the earth, told in four parts, revealing the layers of over-the-top psychotic behaviour and violence one by one. As the story unfolds, it just keeps coming: Rape, gratuitous serial killing, strangulation with intestines, extreme violence against whores just because they fought back against violence, pedophilia, exponential incest, whipping of children, endless abuse of wife in the name of religion, etc. Not a single character in this movie is ever believable as a human being and if the drama weren't so tiresome, it would be funny. If you thought the excessive melodrama of Breaking the Waves was insufferable nonsense, this should make that movie seem reasonable by comparison.

Bunny Game, The  
This is one of those movies that must be accompanied with some crucial background information that will help an audience understand what the movie tried to do. Allegedly, the actress wanted to go through this experience as a kind of cleansing for a traumatic past, and she prepared for it with fasting, meditation and what not. She was not given a script, and everything done to her was real, and her reactions were real as well, all towards the goal of her experiencing a kind of death. The film-maker cast a very scary actor in the role of the trucker sadist, reminiscent of Human Centipede in the sense of its casting of an evil presence that is too good for its own sake. Add to all this some very experimental and effective B&W cinematography and editing that tries to inflict on the audience what the actress is going through by way of extremely disorienting and disturbing rapid-cuts, impressions, lighting and non-linear collages. The 'plot' is simply about a prostitute that is kidnapped by a demented trucker. For the first twenty minutes we get to see her various clients abuse her in pornographic detail while she takes drugs, cries it off and moves on to the next one. But this is just a warm-up for some truly demented behaviour in the rest of the movie. The torture, since it is all real, is mostly mental, including endless and various forms of abuse and humiliations. There is physical abuse as well, but the focus is on breaking her mind. And her mind does break for all to see, in an all-too-realistic performance. Put all this together, and you have one sick, disturbing experiment on sadism. But why should any normal person be interested in this? This was like watching a masochistic woman get abused in S&M dungeons for hours, which she may have enjoyed, but it just bored me and left me with nothing but a feeling that this great cinematography was wasted.

Cannibal Suburbia  
This is really scraping the feces from the worms at the bottom of the barrel as far as torture horror is concerned. It's an Australian anthology. The wrapper is a bizarre bit about a makeup-wearing killer psycho who tells stories to his retarded freak pet in the shed (some guy with eyeballs and a stocking on his head). The first 'comic' story about a party going wrong goes nowhere quickly and stays there, up until the non-ending. The second story is about an evil doppelgänger, and is largely uninteresting. The third is about a man-hating bitch who, for days, tortures a sleazy guy that hit on her, complete with chopping off of various limbs, salt on wounds, etc. The sound and enunciation are so terrible you will likely miss much dialogue. The acting is average to poor.

A terrible Saw clone with a sadistic torturer that seems to be playing elaborate Fear-Factor games with his victims, only with gleeful sadism and a sprinkle of gore. A boring female model serves as the rat in the cage with elaborate tricks, traps, setups, machinery and games involving acid, sand, a cocktail of human flesh in a blender, and more, all to entertain... who exactly? When the games are up, there's a horribly predictable plot twist, then it just keeps getting more stupid by the minute.

A Texas Chainsaw Massacre clone that tries to combine the backwoods genre with modern sadistic torture. Annoying teenagers vacationing in the woods encounter a beastly killer who applies gruesome tortures to his victims before killing them, and putting it all on film. The gory violence includes applying hammers, hooks and saws to the face and various parts of the body, repeated hammering of a nail into flesh, and pliers to testicles, all of this varied gruesomeness serving no purpose to the killer or the movie and obviously only meant for the movie's audience. No thanks.

Chain Letter  
Incredibly stupid slasher movie for the Facebook crowd. A smart horror movie about modern technology could conceivably be devised someday, but this one opts to take the stupidest phenomenon (as hinted subtly in the title) and base the whole movie on that. So not only is it a routine slasher movie about some guy killing stupid teenagers, it is also based on a stupid and technologically impossible idea of some guy tracking a chain e-mail and killing everyone that deletes it. It doesn't bother with a plot either except for the obvious detective-and-teenagers-trying-to-survive-a-killer cookie-cutter backdrop, so much so that the movie has no ending. The stupid mind that conceived this movie decided to be creative by making all of the kills involve chains. Get it? Chains killing people that don't forward chain letters. Wait are you sure you got it? Chains and chain-letters... you know. Since this is the Saw generation, the kills are particularly gruesome, but nothing that would qualify it as a splatter movie, except for one or two over-the-top kill scenes where the killer brings out his gratuitous sadistic side and tortures some teenager before performing an impossible feat of cutting through a face with a chain.

A modern, brutal but empty remake of Last House on the Left which in turn was a trashy, exploitative remake of the intense Bergman drama The Virgin Spring. The plot was copied, complete with dumb girls, rape, humiliation, grisly torture, and revengeful parents but adds drugs, a rave party and cellphones. The movie takes some cues from Rob Zombie in its no-holds-barred brutality, a surprisingly wild ending and intensely psychotic characters, but offers nothing entertaining, creative or new, going for the shock value of nipple slicing and rectum carving instead.

Collection, The  
Sigh. Another sequel. If Saw was the game show for a bloodthirsty brainless audience, this one is a fun house for the same people. The superhuman 'Collector' is setting up traps and collecting the survivors for some fun in his abandoned hotel packed full of scores of traps, mentally broken human freak-shows, torture devices, and grotesque artwork with body parts. When the daughter of a rich man gets abducted, his goon squad decide to take matters into their own hands and abduct the talented thief from part one to help them find the Collector. Who will survive the hotel of death? Disregarding the stupidity of this whole idea, one would think that the money it would take to build such an elaborate fun house would lead the police to him. And if not that, then the tonnage of materials and unique devices that he obviously has to get his hands on that should provide fat clues to any detective with half a brain, not to mention the army of people he would need to build it, as well as the impossibility of building all these places without anyone noticing. I mean just imagine the logistics of rigging a whole discotheque with a combine harvester that comes out of the walls for butchering hundreds of people. But why do I even bother pointing out how incredibly stupid these movies are?

Collector, The  
You have got to be kidding me. Just when I thought the idiotic Saw franchise was finally on its last breath, the makers of Saw decide to start a new franchise with the same brainless twaddle. A thief breaks into a house he has been hired to repair, and finds that the new occupants have been locked in by a sadistic killer who has setup dozens of elaborate traps and torture tools in the house. The thief suddenly develops a conscience and tries to save the occupants. The masked killer is obviously the writer, because he has no reason to exist otherwise, and as with Saw, he has somehow managed to put together all of these contraptions and traps in a matter of hours, and the barebones, empty plot, as with porn, is only there to get to the endless scenes with the body fluids and torture toys. They even ran out of humans to throw onto the sadistic traps, so they used a cat instead for some bestiality torture porn. Obviously, this has nothing to do with the infinitely better movie with Terence Stamp with the same name. I'm currently thinking of collecting my favorite tortures from this movie and going after the writer and director. Let's see... maybe the one with the cockroaches inserted into a fresh wound, or the fish hooks, or maybe the floor covered in bear traps... oooh wait I think I'll use the acid-guillotine combo. Yeah, now I feel better.

Consequence of Lust (AKA Séquelles)  
Absolutely terrible low-budget torture porn from Switzerland. Four 'psychopaths' kidnap a horny couple and have them invite other victims for their torture and murder party. There's a hint of a bigger conspiracy but this is just a tease. The majority of the film consists of them bickering, thus torturing the audience as well. The acting is terrible; neither the psychos nor the victims are ever remotely believable. There's a lot of sex and sexual humiliation, but more male nudity than female. There's some nasty splatter in the form of a severed hand, an electric knife to the head, and some laughable cannibalism that comes out of nowhere, but this is primarily about four egotistical 'psychos' arguing, and violence.

Yawn. Yet another dreary serial killer movie, completely derivative even with its twist ending. The only thing it has going for it is the acting, but it's more like 'why are these actors wasting their time with this' rather than the acting raising the level of the movie. An obnoxious reporter and her cameraman are tracking down a story of a highway killer, and she tries to pry the story of the killer out of a local, who seems to know a lot about him. The killer's background is told through a derivative relationship with his derivative evil mother, and his doomed relationship with his bitch-slut of a wife, to his first killing, the special meat he served in his diner, and beyond. Then starts the tortures and bouts of gratuitous nasty violence in the basement. And then there's the idiotic twist, and then it's over.

Yet another movie to hop on the 'torture-porn' bandwagon. This one has very one-dimensional, traumatized, religious fanatics that use religion as an excuse for sadism to torture young traumatized women for being 'slutty'. Cue the basements in a huge mansion, the trickery and abductions, and then the drills, knives and screaming. All the characters are one-dimensional, pop-psychology circle-of-trauma cardboard cutouts, and the plot is as basic as it gets.

I don't understand why this made such a good impression amongst many horror fans. It didn't even begin to work for me. A group of students, led by a jerk, embark on a school project to study innermost fears. They start with filming other students talking about their fears on camera without adding any insight or anything resembling a research project. Then the jerk, who was just an average jerk until then, goes psychotic for the climactic 20 minutes, taking it 'to the next level' with no discernable rationale, and becomes exponentially more sadistic by the minute, performing extremely sick, emotional, physical and psychological experiments on various people that confessed their fears to him, without any trace of emotion, and his victims turn psychotic as well as if sadism were a highly contagious disease. Neither the characters nor their motivations make any sense. This is not a human that becomes sadistic, this is a contrived character in a book engineered to entertain with sadism.

Embodiment of Evil  
Coffin Joe is back, 44 years since his first appearance. Old age doesn't seem to have any effect as he is still obsessed with his usual project of breeding with the perfect woman to produce the perfect offspring, testing men and women with sadistic tortures to prove their worth while the local elements gather together to hunt and murder him. The setting is the modern world this time, and for a while, the appearance of Joe in his black cape in modern streets is funny. This trashy horror flick seems to be trying to outdo the current sadism trend with dozens of imaginative scenes of torture and sadism including butt-carving, rat-torture and nasty scenes of hell and necrophilia, all led by the evil Coffin Joe who now seems to be surrounded by idiotic cultists and dozens of naked women. The Coffin Joe of old would have never stood for this.

One of those movies that is basically one long scene of ultra-violence, with a parade of freaks constantly joining the slaughter. Except that, in this case, it is never believable for a second since it has Salma Hayek as a forced prostitute who somehow shrugs off a bullet wound in her intestines as if it were a minor cut, and manages to kill dozens of professional killers (who all know where she is) for hours on end. The only interesting point is that it takes place in a single room, but that's not enough to save it. Another potentially interesting development is how she brings a child into this environment and tries very hard to get away with hiding the carnage from the kid, except it is contrived like the rest of the movie. The violence is mostly with guns, grenades, knives and swords, and it mostly flirts between the ultra-violent area and the excessively-violent one, with one standout scene of torture involving various acids, and a sadistic freak with a pet masochist and masked entourage straight out of a bizarre Sono/Miike flick. Pity that it wasn't as entertaining as it sounds and features weak dialog.

Experiment in Torture  
Believe the bad reviews. This one is so bad, it inspires reviewers to be extra creative when tearing this movie apart. The basic plot is that some strippers are hired to spend a weekend in a secluded getaway belonging to some pervert, except it happens to be run by a sadistic freak who wants to turn the women into gruesome works of art. At least I think that's what it's about since it is hard to tell, what with all the confusing characters that come and go, partial scenes and abandoned plot points like a conspiracy of torturers, a vengeful sister and some backstabbing. Not to mention a cinematographer that couldn't have done a worse job if he were stoned drunk and hated the director. So there's a drug that does different things to the girls like become paralyzed, break out in melting blisters, or break their leg only to have it magically heal again. There's a blowtorch and a drill, but you're too confused and bored to care who's doing what to whom. Oh, and don't expect the strippers to strip at any time during the movie.

Face: A Frat Party Massacre  
Endlessly tedious found-footage horror movie about revenge in a fraternity/sorority Halloween party taken too far, that goes on and on until its gruesome climax. This is a difficult movie to review since most of it depends on a twist in the plot. But suffice it to say that besides the fatal flaw of it being yet another found-footage movie, there are also badly written over-the-top obnoxious characters, including frat-boys that are basically porn-addicted, testosterone-for-brains, closet-homosexual bullies, and then there's the suggestion made by this movie that a drug can turn relatively normal people into Ed Gein, complete with a fascination for re-usable body parts.

Final, The  
This movie made me realize again how empty these torture-porn movies are, because just by describing the movie in a few words, you can spoil the whole movie. There are no surprises, plot or character developments in this teenage version of Saw by way of Columbine. The bullied outcast teenage youth take revenge on the bullies by setting up an elaborate party where they proceed to submit each of their enemies to sadistic torture. Morality goes out the window and several other torture movies are ripped off, featuring needle torture from Audition, and forcing victims to torture each other to stay alive from a dozen other movies. There are some good moments and it will appeal to the masses of insecure, imperfect teenagers, but I'm just too sick and tired of this whole brainless and boring genre that was stupid to begin with.

Final Destination 3 (& 4 & 5...)  
The third in this series is where many felt that it had become merely about the gore. Not that this is a splatterfest by any underground standards, despite the couple of brief gore scenes per movie that are relatively over-the-top for a mainstream movie. But what these movies do offer is a gleefully violent attitude and, like the Saw sequels, they see bizarre and gruesome death as a form of entertainment and a game. This is the kind of movie where people don't just die, but get half of their heads sliced up by a propeller after that was pushed by an out-of-control truck, or where a dropped camera causes a series of malfunctions in a Rube Golderg sequence that eventually slices a boy in half during a roller coaster ride, and then seats his lower half neatly next to his girlfriend. It makes every object a source of danger, every location, pastime or workplace full of potentially fatal accidents. It gleefully takes intense situations and exploits them in this fashion, like when a series of minor mishaps cause an eyeball laser-surgery machine to misbehave in gruesome ways. The plot? It's the same plot for five movies now, each movie merely replacing the deaths in an identical plot-line. One youngster saves a group of people from a spectacular disaster thanks to some magical premonition, and then they spend the whole movie trying to figure out who is going to get killed next to make up for their survival by a cheated angel of death. It was stupid in the first movie, and only gets more stupid and formulaic with every sequel. The extended, visceral and spectacularly violent opening sequence is usually the best aspect of these movies, but the rest is always too stupid and exploitative to enjoy in any way.

Frat House Massacre  
This is a throwback slasher that takes place in a fantasy frat house where the only law is survival of the most sadistic. The fraternity D.I.E. (subtle huh), has a particularly brutal hazing ritual, except it gets even worse when the clique of leaders get you to themselves, and then it's just plain murder, with a heavy dose of extra sadism and torture. A killer is also slashing the fraternity members one by one, who can it be? I call this a fantasy world, not because of the sadistic frat boys, but because there is no trace of law-enforcement, campus police, reports of missing people, relatives, investigations, or even one amongst dozens of students that seem to care about sadism and murder. Add to this also rampant rape and violent misogyny with willing girls that come back for more, a ridiculous supernatural element, and the usual revelation of the killer from left field, and you have one very ridiculous and unusually brainless slasher movie. The acting is quite good actually, and the gore is like a Friday the 13th movie with some slightly more extreme stuff towards the end, but it's mostly about the rampant unchecked viciousness. Given the amount of male nudity, perhaps it was made as soft-core porn for sadistic homosexuals.

Another entry in the brutal French horror genre, this one copying other movies, mostly borrowing its plot from Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A group of young criminals and a pregnant girlfriend on the run from police, stop over at a free bed & breakfast only to run into a family of cannibal Nazis that torture and eat the men, and breed with the women. The violence, nastiness and gore, even though it isn't over-the-top, is monotonously relentless. The troubles with this one are that it's very uninvolving, and doesn't seem to be aware of itself as a whole, stringing together a series of emulated scenes from other movies, with badly filmed cop-criminal shootouts, seductive women and young sex a la Hostel, a tunnel scene that comes out of nowhere from Descent, a completely irrelevant element of Nazism, etc. Nasty scenes involving a buzz-saw, axe, ankle-cutting, etc. are there, but the protagonists are all dull, empty and unlikeable, the wackos look too normal and unconvincing, and the movie depends on a weak actress and no proper setup to carry the intensity of the climax.

Yet another torture & sadism trend-hopper, this one horribly amateurish. Two thieves break into a home and find some twisted sadism and dead bodies, and soon become victims of a demented killer who owns the house. The rest of the movie just moves from one violent or torture scene to another as things get more complicated, but there is almost no gore, the acting is terrible, the motives and reactions are stupid, and there's no creativity in sight. Its peak of creative torture is the dumb idea of sliding a rodent through a tube into a person's mouth.

Girl Next Door, The  
Extreme sadism takes on a different form in this sickening movie, which is based on the true story of a girl and her disabled sister abused by a sick woman, her children and random locals. In this movie version, she is a psychotic aunt who raised her boys in her hateful ways, probably inspired by her self-loathing, and we get to see them team up to lock up the girl in their basement, torture her, then let the wave of sadism go unchecked as they mutilate her various body parts and rape her, all to the horror of a lovestruck but helpless neighbour boy. But even though this is based on true events, the movie feels completely fake, mostly because of the poor performances. They aren't bad actors, they just didn't fill in any shoes or channel their sick characters, which is perhaps good for them but bad for the movie. There is no gore and most of the graphic abuse is kept just this side of explicit, yet the setup of this pointless torture porn which includes children and parenthood gone very very bad, is as morally depraved as it gets. Interestingly, the less extreme "An American Crime" is based on the same story and stuck to more facts of the crime, but went for the other extreme, portraying the criminals as basically good-natured, weak-willed people that just happen to lash out in extreme and prolonged sadism. Neither of these movies felt real or provided any insight.

Goodnight Mommy  
Austrian horror which at first seems to be a bit Haneke, with art-house, disturbing imagery and an abstract concept of trauma and identity amongst family members, explored with disquieting detachment. But then it just becomes about sadistic torture, ditching its art-house beginnings, except that the abstract characters are never plausible, so it doesn't work as visceral horror, and the plot twist is predictable from the start. Twin boys are convinced that their mother is someone else after she comes home from plastic surgery, and a picture of an identical woman makes their suspicions worse. They get surreal and disturbing nightmares that blend their cockroach farm with their bandaged mother, and dreams of their mother revealing her true face while naked in the forest. But then, as mentioned, it just deteriorates into sadism and torture, which should be all the more disturbing since it is performed by young boys, except that the movie never earns its violence and cheap shock tactics, and is never believable.

Great American Snuff Film, The  
Supposedly based on real events and allegedly makes use of a real 2 minute snuff film filmed by the serial killer himself towards the end of the movie, but this is all marketing and is overrated. Two demented killers kidnap a couple of girls, degrade and torture them in front of the camera before setting them up for the 'masterpiece' snuff film. The relationship between them deteriorates however and things get out of hand. A touch disturbing but mostly boring exploitation.

Hard Candy  
More mainstream, exploitative, cheaply provocative torture-horror boasting a feature-length torture scene which I think the film-makers deserve to be put through. This movie simply posits that extreme sadism (not justice) is justified where pedophilia is concerned. I have a screenplay for you: A 14 year old bratty, arrogant, psychotic, sadistic, intelligent boy lures his female school-teacher who has a thing for young boys (yes, many of these exist), plays mind-games with her, tortures her, methodically cuts off her clitoris and breasts while making cheap wise-cracks as she weeps, screams and begs, then keeps abusing her until he convinces her to kill herself. Will that movie work? Then ask yourself why this one did work for you.

Hate Crime  
Found footage merged with home invasion of the nasty, racist, ultra-violent kind. Three hyped-up neo-Nazis invade a Jewish family's home while they are celebrating a kid's birthday. The whole movie then consists of various psychological and physical abuses, nasty rape and forced incest, eye-gouging, and more, as the guys vent and indulge in any whim, sadistic idea, or lustful urge that comes to mind. One flaw inherent in practically every found-footage film is the increasingly implausible contrivances of having the characters keep filming no matter what is happening to them, and for a sub-genre of movies that desperately want to seem more real than others, this is a fatal flaw. But this is just the beginning with this turkey: We get acting that wavers between chewing-the-scenery, passable, and amateur-porn, and characters that switch from sadistically aggressive to cry-baby to normal-guy-next-door in over-the-top manic mood swings. Half the time we don't understand them because they are muffled by masks, the rest of the time we wish we didn't understand their banal improvisations, and then there's the fact that we experience most of the movie from the neo-Nazi point of view as they have fun chewing up the scenery. And then the movie tags on some text at the end giving us hate-crime statistics and a brief nod to justice, as if that would justify watching 70 minutes of people acting out their racist and sadistic fantasies.

Seriously? A whole movie about sicko rednecks deriving sexual satisfaction out of people's skulls? And no, that was not a spoiler, first of all because the movie starts with the 'action' right at the beginning, and secondly, there wouldn't be much left to review if I skipped that part. Imagine what the hillbillies from Deliverance would be up to in their spare time when they are really horny and really hate their victims, and then make a movie about their lives and how they love their grand-pappies, and this may be it. Oh, and tack on a plot about a corrupt ATF officer with a sick wife who sells himself to drug dealers to pay for her medicine, and give this story a nonsensical twist ending that is just there for its shock value. A vile and witless waste of time that is too depraved to be funny and too in love with its sicko concept to be a real horror movie.

Hellraiser (2022)  
Yet another misguided slick modern remake, this one based a classic series of movies that I could never figure out, but which at least had originality and a gruesome, hellish vibe. This one stupidly turns the sadistic Cenobites from hell into demonic slashers, and has teenagers trying to figure what is happening to them and undo the killings and disappearances as if this is some kind of Elm Street movie coupled with a Ring curse. I could never figure out what the Cenobites actually want from any of the original movies, seeing as each time they appear the writers seem to make up new rules or they say things that contradict what came before, and this movie is no different. Does desire have anything to do with gifts of pain, or is it forced upon innocents like in this movie? Etc. In addition, the producers of this movie think that making the special effects more slick and the costumes more professional will make the horror more effective. Except that where the Cenobites once looked like gruesome fleshy demons, here they look like dolls from a fancy S&M costume store. There is no intimidation either, and no Bradley. It's only towards the last section of this movie does it slightly resemble a Hellraiser movie, but it's too little too late. There is some gore, but for some reason this feels like a slick slasher-torture movie more than a gruesome gore movie.

Helpers, The (AKA No Vacancy)  
Borrowing elements from Vacancy, Hitcher and Saw, this torture-horror movie is bad on many levels. The only good thing is the acting, and that makes the undeserved sadism just a little more harsh. Except the victims are so incredibly stupid, you just don't care anymore after a while. It's not just that they make stupid mistakes and never seem to use their brains, they make the exact same stupid mistakes over and over. There are only about three or four actual physical torture scenes, one with splatter, so don't expect extreme gruesomeness, but they are wrapped with endless sadistic games and the sadists have the most nonsensical motivation yet. The 'plot' is about a group of youngsters that find themselves in the hands of some people that enjoy playing sadistic torture games for no good reason. In short, a waste of time.

Hoboken Hollow  
With some sadistic movies, you feel that something is not right with the film-maker. I mean, who reads a real-life headline about a Texas Slave Ranch where transients were abused and one was possibly killed, and then makes a movie that focuses only on an over-the-top trashy family of gleefully sadistic psychos and their torturous exploits, then actually adds the line 'inspired' by true events? Gives the word 'inspired' a whole new meaning I'd say. In any case, that's all this movie is about: Unrealistically over-the-top abuse of transients by a family of psychotic diseased ranch-hands, in a dozen different ways, ranging from cattle-prodding and starving, to rape, slicing, urinating on their face, hanging, impaling, and cannibalism. There's even a random scene of running over some guy in a car just so we can see an eyeball squashed across the windscreen. Despite this, it's not an excessively graphic or gory movie, but the focus of the movie is on the endless sadism, and both the inbred family and film-maker seem to be enjoying themselves. And don't be fooled by the big names in the cast either. They only appear briefly, their plot-lines are abandoned mid-way, and I am completely clueless as to what they are doing in such a badly made, dull and trashy movie.

Hood Has Eyez, The  
A particularly nasty low-budget rape & revenge flick. Some skanks, a relatively more 'innocent' girl who is pressured into tagging along, and some loser, all find themselves in a bad neighbourhood where they promptly get abducted. There's nasty rape, nasty violence with a broken bottle, a nasty abortion, and even nastier revenge, all quite graphic. The acting transformation from innocent girl to crazed psychopath is laughably bad and for some reason features ridiculous push-ups and a training montage, but everything else is adequate for low-budget movie, except for the fact that this is just time-wasting trashy filth, of course.

Mexico jumps on the torture-porn bandwagon very late in the game and delivers a bland effort. A disturbed man kidnaps his married neighbor and proceeds to force her into a marriage with him using torture and rape, all the while declaring his love for her. That's the whole movie, with a dumb twist ending. The acting is stiff, the torture scenes are nasty and include graphic surgery and acid, and it doesn't even offer any interesting or unusual psychological interaction between them, leaving the movie only with its sadism.

If, for some strange reason, you ever wanted to see what Se7en would look like if it were produced by Michael Bay, here's your chance. This is a complete rip-off of that movie, except it's really really dumb. Dennis Quaid is a detective with family-troubles who is on the trail of a sick group of murderers that are performing complicated and gruesome murders involving suspension hooks and advanced surgery, with ridiculous and completely nonsensical references to the Four Horsemen. To be clear, in Se7en the murders were intrinsically combined with their religious message, but here the references are thrown in as an afterthought just to rip off Se7en. Of course, the forensic work is as slick, hi-tech and convenient as an episode of CSI and the murderers are all laughably unconvincing about anything except their makeup. Seeing as it's a rip-off, you already expect the twist ending, even though you know it's going to be a bad one. Basically, this feels like two bad episodes of CSI back-to-back with extra gore and nastiness.

Hospital, The  
This one starts as a terribly made haunted-hospital movie complete with cliches, bad acting and lighting/sound. Then it turns into an even more terrible, nasty rape-torture-snuff-porn movie. The bad guys' choice of method to do their thing never makes any sense since they practically advertise their crimes and location to the world, and there are other really dumb twists that they obviously haven't thought through. But it's really just an excuse to film the sadistic and depraved stuff, from constant rape mixed with vicious cutting torture at the same time, to necrophilia, lots of screaming girls, and rape-art with body fluids. And after that, the haunted aspects just seem to be pinned onto the movie for no reason, not to mention that the tone of the movie is chaotic. In short, a bad, bad movie from any angle. But even bad movies get free marketing after a supermarket customer complains about the offensive content.

Hostel: Part III  
Was there any doubt this would be a pointless sequel? This time it stupidly takes place in Las Vegas which removes the 'Americans far away and helpless in East-Europe' factor, and because we know what to expect, the writers try to manipulate us by reversing our expectations as to who is a hunter and who is a victim. As far the torture is concerned, the gore is minimal as with previous entries, and like with Saw, it's only about coming up with entertaining kills now, with people in fight scenes coming up with complicated ways to kill their opponent instead of getting it over with, and an audience giving points this time like its some kind of stupid computer game. The stupidest scene involves death by cockroaches. I hope this flop will be the death of this franchise.

House on the Hill  
America the sick continues to idolize its pathetic serial killers making sure not a single one remains without at least one or multiple movies that depicts their crimes and life. This one features a video tape by the pathetic actual killer himself who says "it will be interesting to see how far this tape and I will actually go"... and, of course, this movie gladly ensures that the killer's wish comes true. Some loser and his sadistic friend decided to kidnap, torture, enslave, rape and slowly kill dozens of women, converting them into slaves and toys, often torturing them and killing them very slowly in a variety of sadistic ways just to pass the time. This movie depicts all of this with girl after girl, with not-bad acting, and it is structured exactly like a porn movie. There's nothing of interest here, unless one is a sadist and a pathetic loser like this killer. In which case, consider this porn.

Invitation Only  
Eli Roth has a lot to account for. Not only did he make 'torture-porn' trendy, now he even has Taiwan modeling its movies after his Hostel. This movie combines idiotic killing motives from the worst slasher movies with a couple of sadistic torture scenes that show yet another variation on the Hostel theme, and it even rips off a scene from Saw. A working-class teenager is invited to a special party where they grant wishes. Slashings, violence and torture ensue. Yawn.

I Saw the Devil  
Jee-woon Kim hops on Park's brutal vengeance bandwagon a few years too late. This one tells the tale of a cop whose girlfriend is killed by a very cruel serial killer, who then goes on a controlled, immoral, irresponsible and even more cruel vengeance spree. He plays with the serial killer, angers him, lets him go loose before swooping down and punishing him some more with brutal and graphic torture, before the whole thing repeats and escalates once again. Trouble is, innocent people keep getting hurt from all of this sadistic hatred, the ending punishes even more innocents, and the cop turns out to be even worse than the killer, especially since he should know better. So much so, that it just doesn't make sense. It's like a zoo-keeper torturing the lion for eating animals, before releasing him on unsuspecting humans again. There is no doubt that this movie is extremely well done with superb cinematography, special effects, style, intensity and acting. It's just too morally bankrupt, hypocritical, exploitative, unrealistic and pointlessly sadistic to be interesting.

I Spit on Your Grave (2010)  
The first scene shows a girl driving through the woods. Right away I'm thinking: Does this actress know what movie remake she is in and what she is in for? Why is she doing this? The last scene shows her smiling after having submitted her rapists to some very gruesome torture and kills (it's impossible to spoil a rape/revenge movie), and then I understood how this works. Camille Keaton is quoted as being convinced to play this character because she is a nice, ordinary girl who, in the end, becomes strong and empowered. But these movies are about the rape, not the revenge. Otherwise they wouldn't feature rape, sadism, full nudity, and rape foreplay for a full 40 minutes in endless graphic detail. The first half felt like a copy of the original with nothing new to offer, the second half adds some modern gruesome torture-porn with elaborate setups in order to give the rapists their due. Maybe she will come back for revenge again when she finally realizes the film-makers were just out to exploit her.

I Spit on Your Grave 2  
Sure, why not. Let's make a sequel to a remake of an exploitation movie. We need more quality material like this. But, wait a minute: Isn't a sequel supposed to be a continuation of a story with some common characters rather than the same story in different settings and different characters? But never mind all that, this is all about exploitation. The movie-makers exploit the original movie title and its fans, and the audience exploit the actress who thinks she is in a rape-REVENGE movie rather than a RAPE-revenge movie. The settings, acting and direction are actually all quite good, and the movie makes us hate everyone so much that the revenge part of the movie almost feels like a liberation and release. But that is only because the movie takes more than half of its running time abusing its pretty model-actress with everything from serial rape, drugs and beatings, to cattle-prods, burying alive, urine, and psychological abuse. But it thinks it justifies all this because it gives her the last third to drown her abusers in feces, use a vice on testicles, and combine slashings with rotten food, and, of course, no one would dare condemn her for it. It's bad enough that the movie-makers think they justified 100 minutes of non-stop sadism and titillation by using revenge as an excuse, but, if you think about it, the actions of the abusers don't even make sense, not to mention her superwoman strength when overpowering men. But the movie doesn't exactly expect its intended audience to think, so who cares.

I Spit on Your Grave 3: Vengeance Is Mine  
A surprising sequel that takes the franchise to a couple different directions, one of them even good. Except that this potential is squandered on more crude exploitation. This time it's not rape & revenge, but a movie about a woman who has taken her revenge, and now cannot get over her hate and anger. In other words, unlike part 2, it's an actual sequel. The first third of the movie had me thinking that this would be a good movie. True, many of the men in this movie are misogynists or rapists, but there are also normal men, only the women in this movie are too angry to notice or to care. It starts as a drama about a very angry woman who makes a friend at a rape-victim support group who is even angrier than her, and together they concoct violent punishment for men they judge to be deserving, except she is still struggling with her anger as a three-dimensional person. But then the movie drifts right back to exploitation for a second third that would be comparable to Death Wish, except it gleefully enjoys its brutal genital shredding and extreme rape of its male pigs. The final third goes back to its portrayal of a woman going mad with hate and violence, which would be interesting except, she is now once again a one-dimensional, cardboard, ultra-violent, exploitation figure.

This idiotic franchise died 6 sequels ago and yet it keeps on ticking thanks to braindead audiences. I only watched this one because it was directed by the Spierigs, hoping that they would do something different with it. Unfortunately, not only is this a sell-out Hollywood job for the money, it's also just another uninspired copycat sequel. It may or may not have ignored events in the last few sequels but I can't be sure since I stopped paying attention at some stage. Once again, there's a god-like psycho that somehow builds contraptions, games and traps by himself that would take an army of construction workers, knows everything about everybody and devotes his life to teaching bad people extreme life lessons, and evades the FBI, while law enforcement does its CSI-like flashy forensics and race-against-the-clock investigations. And all this to deliver another Fear-Factor-esque sadistically entertaining game-show-movie for dumb bloodthirsty audiences. It even has a twist ending that thinks its clever by lying to its audience. This franchise is beyond tired.

Johnny Sunshine Maximum Violence  
Now I know why they call this trend torture porn. This limp low-budget movie tries to be cutting-edge nastiness by depicting a future where the streets are overrun by zombies, zombie slayers that torture and kill zombies, drug-addicts, where necrophilia is a way of life, and where the most profitable and popular product is a snuff movie. In addition, a hot girl is given kinky outfits and shown having sex with her victims while torturing and killing them. Sounds like promising exploitation or a gorehounds delight? Think again. The result is so weak that the victims and zombies look the same and the protagonists aren't much livelier either, not much is shown, including the gore, the plot is mostly non-existent, making this a series of vignettes, like a porn flick without the porn.

KatieBird *Certifiable Crazy Person  
A woman drags her shrink into the bedroom for some one-on-one talk right after her father's funeral. Did I say talk? I meant rape and torture. No, she's doing the raping, and the torture is applied to both him and her, in both cases by her. See, she's a crazy sadomasochist brought up by a serial-killer father. The whole movie cuts between scenes of their intimacies, and her telling the tale of how she was brought up, and her first initiation into torture and murder. Features gruesome scenes involving a hammer and hacksaw, and even more gruesome scenes of teeth pulling, after which she tortures herself with the pulled teeth. The acting is good, the horror is gruesome, her mental state is somewhat forced, the soundtrack gets annoying, but the thing that really makes this unwatchable is the abuse, misuse and overuse of annoyingly distracting and pointless split screens throughout the whole movie.

Vietnamese ultra-nastiness. The movie is a sequence of scenes where nasty people perform acts of ultra-violence or some form of sadistic acts on each other, all usually with an extra twist or three that add psychologically disturbing layers to the violence. It may not look like it at first since the movie seems to be a random collection of extreme scenes with several different people, but eventually you realize that many of the kids and adults are the same people at different ages and periods before and after their scarring (physical and psychological). There's a cannibal necrophiliac that has a few even more extreme fetishes that I won't mention, extreme abuse of kids, some of which hide under the bed of their prostitute mother or partake in cannibalism, ultra gang violence between very young people, graphic gory torture with pliers and worms, gory decapitation, and much more. It all looks extremely vile and disturbing, but it's so over-the-top and so childishly eager to shock its audience by making its characters do one random sick thing after another, that frankly it all becomes rather laughable and I didn't feel like bothering to place the pieces of the movie-puzzle together back in order and to see if it forms some kind of logical circle. There are no characters in this movie, only acts of nastiness and faces.

I guess as long as it features brutality, torture and a plot twist, anything goes. An impossibly idiotic and stubborn woman gets kidnapped by a mute tow-truck driver. Then follows thirty days of brutal attempts at breaking her will using punishments, while she witnesses gruesome carnage of other women getting tortured and butchered. She uses her wits to come up with all kinds of tricks, but never uses them for the blatantly obvious goals of escape or killing her captor. In fact, she keeps making her situation worse for no good reason. Her character never makes even a minimum of sense. Then there is a completely nonsensical plot twist. A waste of time.

Spanish brutal home-invasion horror movie that stunned audiences. Personally, I found everything about it so pointless, that it bored me, but I seem to be alone on this. The invaded family is one-dimensional consisting of man, controlling wife, and obnoxious teenage daughter, despite an initial character setup stage in the movie. The movie lets us know that the invaders have been doing this for a while, yet they don't seem to have a plan on how to get the money they want, one of them is a cold psycho, another is an out-of-control beast, the other a mild-hearted criminal, which makes their success as a team lose plausibility. The plot consists of a simple home invasion falling apart in realistic and obvious ways given the above setup, but there is nothing to watch in the movie except violence. And as far as the violence is concerned, except for the ultra-realism and a brutal face-smashing scene straight out of Irreversible, it's nothing you haven't seen a million times before. Which leads me to believe that it was the combination of long, carefully-designed realistic takes, 24-esque real-time, split-screen tension, and hysterical teenage daughter (who begins to panic in the first second and gets worse by the minute) that inflicted the pain on audiences. I found her annoyingly over-the-top, and the technically adept movie brutally empty.

Last Breath  
I have seen many dumb torture-porn Saw-clones, but have never seen one that somehow manages to be very sappy as well. A married couple with serious problems in their marriage are exploring a derelict building which they just bought for business purposes, when a mysterious stranger traps them and proceeds to put them through elaborate tortures. As with later Saw movies, the sadist has gone through ridiculous lengths to build a complex fun-house of gadgets designed to torture his victims and give them life lessons. The torture isn't anything too extreme. The life lessons are almost more painful than the wounds, if we knew what they were. But you'll have to stay til the painful end to find that out. The sadist's power reaches such proportions that you soon wonder if this movie doesn't have more metaphysical things on its mind... The only thing I liked about this one is that the sadist wasn't perfect and they actually managed to escape his traps a couple of times.

Last House on the Left, The (2009)  
Yet another remake of Virgin Spring. For the fourth time, two girls encounter some nasty criminals who take them to the woods and matters escalate to rape and violent sadism. In an ironic twist of fate, they find themselves at the mercy of the parents of the girl, and this leads to an even more violent second half as the parents take the law into their own hands, bringing to mind Straw Dogs. This one is a well-made slick modern horror movie with intense scenes of violence and realistic acting and escalation. But I hated this movie nevertheless for two reasons: One is that this is the third remake whereas the original didn't need any. The second is that this one has dishonest intentions. It wants to be a dramatic horror movie to be taken seriously, but films all the violence and rape with explicit zoom shots, eroticizing the rape, and exploiting the violence with gratuitous deaths by kitchen grinder and microwave. The ending is the most revealing: Instead of ending on a thoughtful note or on the faces of the traumatized victims, it goes for a gratuitous nasty revenge gore shot. This one wants to exploit its cake and eat it too.

By this stage, there is no chance in making any sense of this series and the psychotic Texas Chainsaw family given the many bad sequels, prequels, reboots and whatnot. This one is yet another prequel 'origins' story that tries, and fails horribly, to show how the Leatherface monster was made. There's a family of killers, a young boy, a psychotic mother, an insane sheriff that is almost as violent as they are, and an insane asylum. A murder kicks off the sequence of events but there really is no sequence, just a series of grisly scenes of ultra-violence by an endless parade of psychotic killers. There's skull-stomping, random necrophilia, tearing apart of faces, etc. and, of course, chainsaw gore, each act of violence doing its best to declare its alpha-brutal status. There's lots of gore but it's the brutality that is the focus. The movie tries to generate tension by not revealing which one will grow up to be Leatherface, but that's a pathetically weak plot device and the rest is uninteresting and completely unrealistic. None of the behaviour is convincing. Give it up fellas: There's no way you will be able to explain this insane family in any convincing way.

Live Animals  
Boomers hijacking teenagers and keeping them in the stable like cattle and selling them as slaves is a horror concept I can wrap my head around. Unfortunately, this movie is known for being a 'torture porn' movie. Meaning, the owner does the illogical thing of damaging his own livestock just so this movie can hop on the bandwagon. There's also a very illogical twist, and some people seem impossible to kill. And finally, half of the violence is off-screen, making this one of the tamer entries. What's left is pretty nasty though, including tongue-cutting and hand-drilling, and plenty of chaotic violence as the livestock escape and try to fight back.

Long Pig  
In some ways, a poor-man's, low-budget gritty version of Battle Royale, with a preachy liberal bent to boot. It takes forever to set up (about one a half hours) then there's an hour of survival and sadism. There's practically no gore since the actual violence takes place off camera, but there is plenty of torture, sadism and violence. At first it looks like a typical horror movie with horny youngsters and deranged sadistic killers stalking them and dragging them off for sadistic fun. But the setup first sets up the youngsters in a hierarchy, with the alpha male using women as sex objects, several horny jocks, then some horny geeks, one an aggressively demented one, there's also a wild predatory female, and at the bottom of the food chain: A healthy, young upright woman looked down on by everyone else. Why is why the movie then introduces the cannibals and killers as the rich, the corporations, the abusers of the planet, and the religious, and all these only as secondary plot characters that feel symbolic rather than real, since they are merely the top of the evil food chain and a natural progression from the evil horny men, according to this movie's liberal 'logic'. In any case, after the women are done with preaching, out comes the horror, the youngsters are both tortured and pitted against each other until they all go on a rampage, with an insane old preacher as the leader, who would be creepy if he didn't talk like a muffled muppet, making it hard to understand a word he says.

Lost, The  
This is a 2-hour movie about a pathetically angry, insecure, sleazy, murderous, misogynistic teenage asshole. He kills on a whim, abuses all girls he encounters (because this is a Jack Ketchum movie), and when he goes on a rampage because things don't go his way in his small-town life, there is no telling what he will do. Think of Bully, or the vastly superior Eden Lake. The only good thing I can think of to say about this movie is that the lead performance is truly vicious and possessed. Assholes don't deserve whole movies devoted to them, and they certainly don't make movies interesting. I don't see why anyone would want to waste two hours watching a character study of a jerk. Just because he killed girls?

Loved Ones, The  
You know the demented dinner scene from Texas Chainsaw Massacre? Of course you do. Well, this is like that scene expanded to a feature-length movie, with one crucial difference: With that movie, it all tied in to their obsession with slaughterhouses and you felt it was part of their madness; with this one it's just two ordinary looking people who are sadistic for no discernable reason. Yes, it's Torture Porn time again, kiddies, and no, that genre hasn't killed itself off yet for some reason. Brent is kidnapped by a girl he rejected for the prom, because that's all it takes to cook up a new torture-movie nowadays, and she and her father take turns torturing him with drills, knives, forks, salt, chemicals, and whatnot. The whole neighbourhood, as well as Brent's father, are all suffering indirectly because of this family, which somehow justifies a comic sub-plot involving a loser and his horny, self-destructive goth-girl date. It's got black humor, and the movie is well structured and filmed, but those are the only good things I can say about this one.

Macabre (AKA Darah)  
Derivative Indonesian ultra-violence that is partially a retread of the French 'Inside' with less gore, and also a variant of the backwoods genre with a twist: This time the raving killers are rich and noble-born folk instead of inbreeding hillbillies. Perhaps it says something about Indonesia that it is more afraid of its rich folk, then again, perhaps I am reading too much into it. Otherwise, it's the same old drill: A group of annoying youngsters encounter a mysterious girl that leads them to her house where a raving bloodthirsty family awaits. Besides being derivative, the victims spend the whole movie running around like stupid insects, always doing the most inappropriate things and almost never fighting back until the end when it's time for some of the killers to die, and then the killers start doing stupid things. People are butchered in various gory ways, and some die randomly, the rest keep coming back for more slashing, beheading, smashing, chainsawing, stabbing and burning until its time for the movie to end.

So now they make inquisition-exploitation movies in Bolivia of all places? There was a wave of these back in the 70s, so this 2011 movie arrives a bit late. Except that the 70s movies also typically had a developed story to go along with its ultra-dark nasty violence and exploitation. In any case, this one is about as subtle as a hammer to the head. The vast majority of the movie consists of fully nude S&M with an unflinching camera filmed like a porno. Endless flogging, stretching at the rack, burning, branding, etc all set to nude squirming and screaming. This is spliced with lesbianism. The rest of the movie consists of interviews with 'witnesses' as to the events and the two women's characters. This makes it feel like a modern reality-show with S&M. Except the ending puts it back in context. Turns out the church just wanted their money and accused them of witchcraft for it. If they had focused on the story instead of the nudity they may have had something. But 'Nobody expects exploitation of the Spanish inquisition!'.

Man Bites Dog  
This dark Belgian hit supposedly explores the theme of the media's fascination and documentation of killers to the point where they start participating. But this idea is taken to such absurd lengths that it is never believable despite its gritty mockumentary approach. A group of students follow a deranged killer around while he teaches them the fine arts of murder, rape, disembowelment, the killing of a child and how to get rid of bodies. In between brutal murders, he is socially interacting and rambling on annoyingly and endlessly about random subjects, making this a chore to watch. The film crew slowly help him more and more until they are participating in gang-rape and helping him with the bodies and holding down his victims, and somehow become entangled in a film-crew war and the mafia, thus taking it to absurd and potentially satirical areas, except that the movie is annoying rather than blackly funny. This over-the-top approach undermines the themes of the movie and just make it a pointlessly, sadistic and annoying outing. Despite its reputation and pioneering approach, this is vastly overrated

Another brutal French horror movie, this one a movie of two halves: Brutal home invasion and a tale of psychological insanity in the first half, and torture-porn in the second, finding a new angle to the Hostel type of torture-horror. This time, the rich folk are after the discovery of what's in the movie title (since it's in the title, it can't be a spoiler), and they will go to extreme and merciless ends to reach it. Theoretically, this should create a visceral and at least somewhat intellectually interesting entry in the genre, but a few things destroy this possibility: First, the concept is never developed, only mentioned briefly to give the carnage an excuse. Secondly, the characters make no sense, being ridiculously stupid or inexplicably sadistic. Thirdly, the movie is too unfocused and is basically two movies in one, setting up a psychotic, traumatized killer for the first half, only to veer and connect it to a completely different movie and focus for the second half. The ending teases with yet another undeveloped idea that seems interesting at first, but which doesn't improve what came before if you think it through. In short, it's just another useless and contrived nasty torture movie only with superficial pretensions of deeper meaning.

Martyrs (2015)  
Well the original actually could use a remake if you ask me, but only in the hands of someone smarter, with a vision, who would give the characters more dimensions, and tie the story into a cohesive whole. This is not that remake. It's just another stupider and tamer American copy of a European movie. And the deep flaws of the original are only emphasized here as a result. Once again it tells the story in two parts. First there's a girl who may or may not be insane, who is trying to kill some people that she thinks abused her in her childhood. Her best friend does not know what to think. Then the movie veers into torture and the high-concept of martyrdom, and although its a plot development deriving from the first part, it still feels like it switched to another movie because the interesting human angle of the first part completely falls apart to make way for the unrealistic excuse for a torture movie. And even the torture is thankfully restricted to a couple of scenes. Another limp, useless remake.

Meat Grinder  
Thai female serial killer movie featuring a woman who solves all of her problems, big or small, by chopping people up and serving them inside her noodle brews. Of course, since she's a woman, it's not her fault, but the fault of her family who abused and raped her in endless ways, and her insane mother who decided to be her daughter's only positive influence by bringing her up to be a good little serial killer. So for the duration of the whole movie, we get a series of gory choppings, slicings, carvings and piercings mixed with sex, rape, incest, and constant, horribly confusing intercut flashbacks and flash-forwards. A terrible copy-and-paste job focusing on violent exploitation that tries to pass off as a meaningful social message.

Hailed as a return of old-school Italian horror but this could only be true if old-school Italian horror consists of 80 minutes of extreme misogyny. Because that is all this movie is about: Endless scene after scene of gratuitous brutal abuse of women. First, these two girls are taken into the forest by three vile rapists who are pretending it is a friendly encampment in the woods until it is time for their sport. Then we get endless rape, rape with scissors, brutal beating, etc. Then that gets old, so some cool-looking but nonsensical zombie gladiators reminiscent of the Blind Dead appear to show them how it is really done with very savage ripping of flesh, crucifixions, face-smashing, and so on. Talk about a movie not earning its violence...

Mother's Day (2010)  
Bousman has really directed one too many Saw sequels because it obviously has turned his brain into mush. This movie is full of sadism for its own sake, people turned against each other just for fun, normal people having ridiculously vicious secrets, and every single average human always chooses self-preservation over anything viciously nasty they are asked to do. All this transplanted into a home invasion movie which is supposed to be about a control-freak mother who gets her boys to do her dirty work for her. It's like he can't stop making Saw movies. Another thing you need to know is that this is a scraping-the-bottom-of-the-barrel remake of a terrible, campy, backwoods Troma horror movie, except it only re-uses the basic concept of a mother getting herself and her boys whatever they need in violent ways (including an unwilling naked chick when required). The main actors are unconvincing, especially when their convoluted motives emerge, including De Mornay as the mother. The result of all this? An unintentional laugh-a-minute bomb of a movie with shoehorned sadism that isn't even as gory as the tiresome Saw franchise.

Mum & Dad  
So now the British are doing it too? A girl working at the airport finds herself abducted and kept as a pet by a very sick family that live by scavenging off the airport and airport people. The Dad has a perverse sexual thing for raw meat and tends to explode in anger and sadistic, nasty violence. The Mum is into mutilating and torturing her human pets. Other 'members' of the family are forced into this way of life due to years of abuse and lack of options. The movie would be quite effective demented horror like Texas Chainsaw Massacre, except, because of the lack of background and perhaps also the choice of actors, it is never convincing and feels nasty just for the sake of being nasty.

Must Love Death  
This absolutely terrible failure is two movies in one: A romantic comedy and a trendy torture-porn flick. Each is terrible in its own right, a cliche-ridden, copy-paste, uninspired, amateur-hour job that never gets remotely interesting or realistic, but together in one movie, they find new lows of incompetent, clunky, useless garbage. Silly girl runs over some awkwardly-written guy-character and falls in love without any chemistry whatsoever, and then they have a falling out over some confusion that never makes sense. Guy becomes suicidal for no reason and somehow finds himself in a cabin with a bunch of torture-enthusiasts who like to play TV-game-show style torture games. Cute graphic torture scenes that are as out of place as a whore in a virgin convention. As skippable as it gets.

Mutilation Man, The (2010)  
There's not much going on here. A generic killer in a generic mask visits people in their houses, tortures them systematically and periodically based on an alarm clock for some reason, then kills them, while the police do some detective work in the background to try to generate more tension. The killer's motivations eventually emerge but they are very generic. It's a low budget film that does pretty well within its limitations, the acting is merely OK but not convincing during the more intense moments. Where oh where is the spark of inspiration. (This has nothing to do with the cult movie by Andrew Copp).

Torture-Porn has never been this pointless. There's this ditzy chick that goes around invading homes and torturing everyone in it in the most gruesome ways just for the fun of it while she enjoys abusing and eating the contents of their house. Presumably because she is as bored as the director of this movie. This guy is planning a party and took mushrooms, so he and we are never sure if what is happening is real, in the past, or actually happening now, but after a few repetitive flips of reality, we don't care anymore, especially since there is no point to this confusion either. So the only thing left is the very graphic gore and torture involving drills, worms, hacksaws, needles, taking apart of a knee cap, and other nasties. The movie is campy and seems to have been intended as a comedy, but it isn't funny, so what's the point?

9 Days: Whipped, Chained and Tortured by a Psychopath  
Despite its full title and descriptions of this movie being low-budget torture-porn, I was surprised when the torture seemed not as extreme and gratuitous as its peers, and that it also felt like it was going somewhere. You see, this is one of those basement torture movies (Scrapbook et al) where most of the exercise takes place between two people, except in this case the torturer is some kind of crazed Christian that wants to teach his victims a life lesson (Saw, but less extreme) and even prepares them for his nine-day crash-course in... something or another. Each day brings another exercise that involves violence, pain and self-control and it is gruelling, but not sick just for the sake of being extreme. Even the acting isn't half-bad, although he doesn't exactly come off as psychotic. Unfortunately, the ending is a complete let-down and very banal. It is also billed as a comedy, but besides the actor's somewhat campy approach and the silly soundtrack, there is nothing funny here. The reference to Dante's nine levels of hell is also completely irrelevant. Which makes this yet another useless and brainless torture movie.

No One Lives  
Kitamura has always sacrificed realistic characters and writing for slick and ultra-cool action involving doll-faced youths in fanboy anime material. And this ultra-violent flick is no different. A bunch of ruthless criminals meet much more than they bargain for when they kidnap a couple and trigger a war of psychopathic violence and one-upmanship. The fights are brutal and gory, but it's the unique sick relationships of a psycho with his female victims that really stand out, being at once grippingly unpredictable but completely ridiculous and unrealistic. Some dialog shows pseudo-intelligence, except that it is all merely aimless games spliced with glorified sadism and brutal theatrics to try to impress the fanboys. Although it features gory uses of a big shredding machine as well as the body of a large wrestler, it feels more like a sadistic and violent anime than a splatterfest.

Another pointlessly grotesque and messy film adaptation from Jack Ketchum. This one features a commune of feral cannibals that are so nihilistic and murderously aggressive, that it is impossible to believe that they would survive for this long amongst civilized society. Not to mention that they are laughably unconvincing in bad wigs, over-the-top acting, grunting communication skills, shaved legs and all. The movie is short and dives right in as a family tries to survive an encounter with these feral cannibals while the police hunt them down. As this is Ketchum, this setup isn't enough, so we get gratuitous vagina eating, little kids doing brutal gory things, little kids being killed, a self-flagellating cannibal-pixie girl (who looks like she just finished conditioning and brushing her hair), rape of a captive old man, and feral-baby breast-suckling (how does a baby become feral exactly?). These movies are definitely not encouraging me to read a Ketchum novel.

Painted Bird, The  
Three hours of beautifully filmed non-stop cruelty in black and white. It takes place in WWII Europe, and most of the cruelty is heaped upon a young Jewish boy who was left behind with an aunt. When the aunt dies, he flees from one hell to another amongst very cruel peasants, then city folk. He is sold into slavery numerous times, raped, beaten endlessly, even raped by a pedo female into goats, pecked by ravens, and find himself in hellish situations which are so outlandish, one wonders about the writer's abuse of his imagination. But the unbelievable cruelty is also heaped against wives, against women by women (brutal rape by a bottle), not to mention the crème de la crème of cruelty: Nazis and Cossacks. This is all filmed as a sequences of scenes that contain almost nothing but cruelty and beautiful scenery. It feels like art-house cruelty-porn. The truth is, after a few scenes, the cruelty heaped on the boy was so over-the-top, it became hilarious to me just to see what the writer will come up next with which to punish the boy. Not the scenes of war, social cruelty and misery though; Those stayed disturbing. It only starts resembling a movie in the final hour when the boy develops some character and promptly joins in the cruelty. Then finally the ending lets a tiny sliver of hope show out of nowhere, making one wonder where the director's humanity was for three whole hours. One could claim that this movie symbolizes millennia of European cruelty, especially against Jews, except it has nothing interesting to say. Which means this movie never earned its many dozens of scenes of cruelty, and it is basically exploitation. I'm sick and tired of this new breed of misanthrope movies masquerading as art. Watch 'Come and See' instead; That one did this kind of thing right.

Just another one of those movies with a group of hot-looking, arrogant and very bland youngsters in a fantasy world where they are all geniuses without any effort required. Except that here they are disturbed and despicable pathologists that like to play a game where they kill people in convoluted ways just so their peers can guess how they did it while getting high and having kinky sex. So this goes beyond murder: Dead bodies are played with, abused, ripped apart in autopsies in random disturbing scenes designed only to shock, like when they cut the 'poop-tube' or play puppets with the cadavers. Sex is mixed with death and murder like something out of Crash, and they all pull perfect theories out of their butts without performing any work, while their superiors conveniently bow out of the way. The gore is nasty but borderline extreme. The protagonist of the movie, who is even less likeable than the group, gets involved in these games until, predictably, things get out hand. A waste of time.

Torture, strippers, and a Blair Witch/Rec cinematic style of 'cinéma-vérité'. I'm sure the makers thought they were being clever. This stupid film tells the story of a mom who was 'forced' to become a stripper due to financial problems. Cue a stripper training montage, and before you know it, she finds herself in the hands of a wacko who wants to teach strippers moral lessons a la Saw. The psychological abuse and torture isn't too graphic but it fills most of the movie and includes genital mutilation. For some illogical reason, they all pass the camera between them and are compelled to film everything so that we won't miss a second, and the actors and motivations are all poor.

Perfect House, The  
Anthology of three gruesome and sadistic murders committed by various psychos. Except that these film-makers decided we don't need the horror story and buildup anymore. Why bother with an actual movie when you can simply show three nasty climaxes of horror movies together, like porn scenes? A couple planning to buy a creepy house is the wrapper, and then we get three short movies about nasty things that happened in the basement. One idiotic short is about nasty parents playing favorites with their two children, leading to surprise secrets and murders. The second short is just another cliched movie about a serial killer and his long-suffering victim in the basement, who both 'entertain' a new victim every week for some sadistic games and gruesome torture. The third is about a next-door neighbour that decides he hates his neighbours so much, he will give them some brutal moral 'lessons' such as making two little boys fight themselves to death and causing a splattery mess with a hated gardening tool. Whatever. When you decide to make a real movie instead of a highlight reel, let me know.

I suppose only talentless movie-makers are still making torture-porn by now. This one copied-pasted scenes from various torture movies together with haunting scenes from The Grudge, and made a movie. And just in case this wouldn't be interesting enough, they hired three ditzy bimbettes in skimpy clothing as protagonists. The plot never makes a bit of sense since they just threw it together to be able to re-use scenes from other movies. There's a creepy evil kid, there's possession, a witch, and each of their motivations seem to change every few scenes, and somewhere in this story, these girls bring back some guys home to stab repeatedly and pull out their teeth and nails. As for the setting, believe it or not, the writers want us to think that these slutty ditzes were hired to teach kids in Thailand (where they pretend to be hot yet never break a sweat).

Pledge of Allegiance (AKA Torture Room)  
The torturers here are Americans according to this movie, torturing a girl with ties to a terrorist cell for the purpose of brainwashing her into working for the USA. Except that there is no back-story, no plot, just psychological and physical torture for almost all of the movie's length, and the movie came out during a torture porn trend. While most of the torture here consists of a variety of extreme psychological terrors and physical abuse, there is also a bit of nasty gory stuff. Regardless of whether you believe American torturers go to this extreme, there's also the ridiculous brainwashing which, though very methodological, nobody would believe is actually practical and efficient since the time of Cold War paranoia. The mere fact that they turn her into a babbling insane woman would make her useless as a spy. So this is basically just a pure torture-porn movie with a faux-political angle. Which is a shame since the beautiful actress Lena Bookall gives it her all and is very sympathetic.

Red Cell, The  
Wow, it doesn't get worse than this. Imagine a 10 year old's version of a Saw clone with no budget. The setting is a basement with cardboard walls where a teenager with cancer is 'locked up', forced to undergo somewhat gory home-surgery with drills and surgical knives, mind-games by his captor and hallucinations involving another victim who may or may not have gouged his eye out. We are never sure of what is really happening and the captor claims he is there to save him. The acting is horrible, the plot twists predictably from the start, the lighting is terrible, and every second feels cliched and copied from other movies.

Rest Stop: Don't Look Back  
Even ghosts are hopping onto the torture porn bandwagon I see. What's next, vampires will put aside their fangs and saw people to death just because it's popular? This stupid sequel to a poor movie has some army dude and his girlfriend track down his lost brother, thus providing more fodder for butchery. They get stuck in a supernatural loop in the same rest stop, where ghosts appear just to drill holes into your flesh, and backwoods preachers and their entourage of freaks pray for your soul before gouging out your eyes. The level of torture gore is increased over the first movie which was borderline-extreme, but the obviousness of the writer's commercial unoriginality and audience manipulation is the same.

Rise of Jengo, The  
A home-made serial-killer movie, and when I say home-made, I mean it almost all takes place in the film-maker's home with himself as the serial-killer. The plot is very minimal: A Satanic spell causes a young man to turn into a crazed bloodthirsty demon that puts on his victim's faces as a mask. Every person he meets gets a grisly end as he cackles, screams and butchers the bodies, keeping body parts for food. Or perhaps this is all just nightmares? Although there is a lot of body butchering, it's almost all off-screen and this is not a gore movie. The director/actor throws himself into the role with energy and there are long stretches where it's just him, a body, a buzz-saw and a bathtub and lots of cackling and screaming. But the character never comes to life and the rest of the acting is very amateurish, and the plot just isn't there.

Rough Cut  
A loser director gets a dubious non-offer for his upcoming film, but his life is falling apart, and his shrew of a wife is giving him hell and humiliating him to no end. What is a horror director to do? Film authentic extreme suffering and killing scenes for his movie. Yup, it's yet another one of these movies. It starts more like a Chad Ferrin movie with solid gritty acting and strong, nasty characters, but then quickly loses its way and any kind of plot, and becomes just another violence-n-sadism-porn movie where a man gets to act as a psychopath while verbally and physically torturing an endless sequence of victims. The acting is good which makes it all the more disturbing, and to its credit, it doesn't go for the gore, focusing on the demented behaviour instead (before, during, and long after each sequence), but where's the plot? Things get nastier as the movie progresses, and our antagonist plays with his victims in a stream-of-consciousness disturbed babble while coming up with random nasty things to do to them like eat their flesh or carve them up with random tools. I guess his movie ended up just like this movie.

Underground German torture movie by Sebastian Radtke who probably watched one too many torture-porn movies. The 'protagonist' is a pathetic insecure man who lashes out whenever he is humiliated or attacked, and when he unleashes his wrath, he finds it makes him powerful and alive. Before you know it, he declares himself a master of torture and gives a course in torture with live victims and audience. Even the police are ineffective against this megalomaniac for no good reason other than that he is on an ego trip. A dull movie with unimaginative torture scenes offering some gruesome gore inflicted by various tools, and the idea and narrative is so undeveloped that it feels like half a movie.

Saw 4  
While the first three felt like a self-contained, continuous and inventive trilogy, this one is just the studios milking the cow and creating an endless franchise a la Nightmare on Elm Street. In a stupid plot development, the Jigsaw killer is dead but is still calling the shots, making people torture each other to learn life lessons with elaborate contraptions setup in advance while potential proteges do his post-mortem bidding. Not only is this concept beyond contrivance, it's all by the numbers now: Another year, another set of brutal torture contraptions, by now dull, with weak writing, some tangential background on the Jigsaw killer, some forced attempts to tie it all together by simply cutting the movie together with scenes from other movies, and an over-the-top gory autopsy as a prologue, all inconsequential, unbelievable and unsurprising. By far the worst in the series.

Saw 5  
The franchise is now lost in brainless sequels, getting around the death of its killer by using the dual-approach of showing more back-story with events that occur before the events that occur in the previous movie, as well as showing post-mortem followers trying to continue the killer's work with endless surprises. This is as ridiculous as it sounds, the killer now reaching God-like status, knowing everything about people that even the FBI doesn't know, and planning ahead quadruple backup plans that predict everyone's moves without any mistakes. This time there is a good-cop-bad-cop game as they try to out-think each other while 5 people are locked in a room with elaborate games designed to teach them co-operation. The gore and nastiness is relatively very subdued, making this more palatable, and the games actually get entertaining at times, like a Fear-Factor episode, only with death. This ridiculous game-show approach shows itself with a simple example: A machine is setup to collect the contestants' blood to unlock a door. It could have used a simple needle, but instead they have to insert their arms into buzz-saws. In addition, they don't even think to cut themselves up more neatly, or even to use urine and saliva instead.

Saw VI  
I don't blame the studios for making another idiotic sequel, they only want money. I blame you for watching this, thus encouraging them to do it. This is so formulaic by now, I don't even have to review it. More convoluted nonsensical flashbacks, more cleverly designed but idiotically conceived Fear-Factor contraptions with gruesome results that must have taken an army of workers to build over many months rather than a handful of people in their time off, more ridiculous life-lessons to learn, more yawning. I watch these to complete my encyclopedia. What's your excuse?

Saw 3D  
The profits were starting to fall so marketing kicks in with a 'grand finale' and a 3D label, and it worked. You idiots. There will be more, because it is still making a profit. Sequels, prequels, sidequels, interquels, reboots, specials, and eventually supernatural plot twists. Why stop? The opening features a game involving a love triangle straight out of a soap opera, only it involves buzz-saws and a gaping crowd. A new low, but amusingly appropriate for such a dumb show that panders to its audience. This one has increased energy, appearances by survivors from previous games, more contraptions and games, and more splatter than I remember from the previous outings, but that is probably because they wanted to fling some blood at the audience in 3D. But the writing is the same idiotic stuff with nonsensical twists, an omnipotent dead killer predicting everyone's moves perfectly for years ahead, game participants that never think out of the box, etc. But who cares about the story? This is Fear-Factor with gore, sadism and deaths. Our gladiator arena for braindead audiences.

Horror film-writers in Hollywood seem to be scrambling for the next new sadistic idea to hop on the torture bandwagon, making up a new excuse and horrific psychological context to display graphic torture. This movie had one of those ideas. Unfortunately that's all it had. This is a dumb, severely cliched slasher movie revolving around a sadistic killer in the morgue and his presumed return years later when teenagers start disappearing again. The survivor of the previous killing spree provides the drama. As for the gimmick: The killer gorily and nastily tortures girls in pairs, allowing them to end the torture by telling him to kill the other girl. There. Now you don't have to see this boringly nasty movie.

Secret Life, The: Jeffrey Dahmer  
Any movie about Jeffrey Dahmer is bound to contain a large amount of sadism no matter how restrained. And this movie is relatively restrained indeed, except, being an exploitation movie, it focuses exclusively on the tedious cycle of horrible crimes that he committed over the course of 13 years with over a dozen scenes of gay predation and seduction, and provides the character-study aspects mainly through a tedious narration. The narration is supposedly based on actual recorded material and sources, turning Dahmer into a human by providing a solid behavioural background for the acts that he did, as warped and childishly narcissistic as they may be. Although keep in mind that the movie itself admits to altering some details. Most of acts of gruesome experiments and dismemberment are off-screen, although the things he does to people become more and more sadistic and nasty as the movie progresses. So the structure is tedious, the narration provides some character, and the acting is mediocre. But the real problem is that I find most serial killers tediously boring and uninteresting, and this popular fascination with them, ridiculous.

Secret Santa  
Obnoxious attempt at an ultra-violent dysfunctional-family black comedy. But I didn't laugh once, and it felt like watching Jerry Springer with gore. A very broken family gathers for Christmas, but soon everyone is flinging nasty verbal barbs and filthy accusations at each other, which soon turns to ultra-violence, then an over-the-top murderous rampage. None of them ever feel like real characters, and the behaviour is so over-the-top, it's like a more extreme Jerry Springer episode. Includes nasty sisters literally ripping each other apart, decapitations, incest, head-crushing, head-humping, and more.

Uwe Boll jumping on the torture-porn bandwagon. A serial killer who killed 666 people is captured by the law, which fails to kill him after three attempts in the electric chair but instead of setting him free, they bury the whole thing and hope for the best. This terrible movie starts with some completely gratuitous footage of brutality against animals, then some footage from the serial killer who has time-delay stop-motion fun with his various jailed and dying victims, then for most of the movie it becomes a boring, dimly-lit slasher movie vs. laughably stupid cops, with only one torture scene of the killer slowly bashing a woman's head with a hammer for 5 whole minutes (both relentlessly gruesome and pointlessly lame at the same time). It only starts getting horrifically intense at the dark ending, but by then it's over.

One of the most nonsensical backwoods-horror movies ever made. This Chilean cinematic-headache features the usual group of young people in the country captured by a family of deranged people, except the whole movie is a random sequence of violent or deranged encounters without rhyme or reason. In one scene they declare their plans for one of the victims, then they do the exact opposite. In one scene one character psychologically manipulates another, and then the exact opposite happens or it's completely forgotten. Victims run around randomly, do one stupid thing after another, consistently ignore obvious escapes or actions that could save them, etc. Characters constantly appear out of nowhere, or are left behind for no reason. There's torture, violence, sadism and gore, but none of this was as harsh as the writing.

She's Crushed  
Fatal Attraction, the torture-porn version? Hardly. The psycho-possessive woman in this movie is so over-the-top and one-dimensional, that she is more boring or funny than scary. It's like some teenage boy's version of what a psycho-stalker woman would behave like. The plot is so predictable, there is no point describing it. What would a psycho-woman do to a man she wants who already has a girlfriend, friends and a kid? See, you know the movie already. Except here, there is a lot of gratuitous torture and death as well. One scene features about seven different grotesque, sadistic things one can do to the same set of toes. Ridiculous pulp, with terrible sound to boot.

Sick Girl  
Now that you've seen the title of this movie, you know all there is to know about this boringly sick movie, as if someone decided to see how many sick things he can get a girl to do on screen. Izzy is left alone to raise her little brother after her big brother joins the marines. She makes incestuous advances towards her brother, urinates on a nun for no good reason, then starts killing or torturing anyone who impresses her the wrong way, including kid bullies, her brother's girlfriend, random horny guys that hit on her, and girls that make fun of her. The tortures include breaking a kid's bones and turning him into a Christmas tree, letting a rat eat someone's face, and for the climax, raping a girl with a spike and severed penis. See, now I've spoiled the whole movie because there's nothing else left to talk about. Local law enforcement seems to be non-existent, there is no character insight or reason for the sadism, no real plot, and although the lead actress has an unusual face, she can't act, making this boring.

Snuff 102  
Slasher movie cliched story meets August Underground with a sprinkle of intellectual provocation. Most of the movie shows very extreme and realistically graphic snuff gore and nastiness as a psycho tortures, rapes, carves, hammers, slices, chops and slashes his female victims for his video collection which is numbered 101, 102, etc. The rest of the movie deals with a student doing research into snuff and visual violence, a professor who talks about the social and psychological aspects, and some pointless back-stories on how the girls got into the clutches of the butcher. Features very gritty and grainy cinematography and a pounding industrial soundtrack. Although it sounds like the ultimate nasty horror movie and it actually does get quite intense, I found that it doesn't add up to anything. The plot is uninteresting, the horror is just endless nastiness, and the professor makes uninteresting and idiotic statements like "women have always been objectified as body parts" and "porn is snuff because the camera reduces women to body parts".

Somebody Help Me  
A by-the-numbers teenage slasher movie coupled with a torture-porn movie, neither of them offering anything new or good. Some youngsters stay in a cabin, they start disappearing, they start dying. Before they die, their faces are taken apart surgically and graphically for no particular reason. The writers didn't bother to do anything but cash in on these genres. This is the kind of movie you forget as soon as the credits roll.

Uwe Boll directs a focused movie based on real events where some prison cell-mates suddenly decided to abuse their fellow cell-mate in increasingly disgusting and sadistic ways, until it got way out of hand. The whole movie takes place in two locations: The prison cell and the interrogation cell. The abuse starts with toothpaste and progresses to sickening body fluids, violence and brutal rape. The acting isn't bad, but the biggest problem is with the lack of convincing realism. This movie wants us to believe that it happened due to some kind of mystical 'group psychosis', or, alternatively, it wants to blame the system for locking them up together, or some lame excuse like that. It's not like the sadism built up gradually as in Lord of the Flies. This just came out of nowhere, leading me to speculate that they were probably just violent animals to begin with, or they held a grudge, or got into a fight. But then the movie wouldn't be so interesting now would it? Then again, this one wasn't interesting either.

Dee Snider attempts to cash in on the Silence of the Lambs trend by coming up with a new sadistic killer who is obsessed with piercings, pain and stalking over the internet while trying to discuss this philosophically. But this movie only comes off as an obviously inferior clone despite its disturbing, creepiness factor and the graphic brutality.

Super, The  
If you find yourself complaining that they don't make grindhouse like they used to, then this is the movie to watch. The cinematography, gritty and seedy atmosphere, and most importantly, the character development, are all here. Unfortunately, at least for me, this is a failed attempt because it wants to provide modern-style gratuitous shock, violence, sleaze and torture and still eat its cake too. See, the superintendent is that old overused excuse for anything twisted and violent: A damaged Vietnam veteran. He wants to be nice to his wife and tenants, but every little thing seems to make him fly into a rage, and violence ensues. He finds himself allied with a Russian Dominatrix tenant and her criminal acquaintances, all with a liking for sadism and killing, and the violence starts getting out of control. All this would have been enough, but the movie adds snuff films, forced cross-dressing necrophilia, various sexual perversions, graphic eye-gouging and more, all of which the superintendent calmly enjoys, clashing with the conflicted character setup of the movie. This is not only gratuitous, but kills the main character development of the movie. Also features not one twist ending, but two. Less is more, guys.

What a mess. It's like someone took a badly thought-through horror movie about organ trafficking that has been injected with some trendy torture-porn, then decided to make it more interesting by slicing up the movie and re-editing it together at random with flashbacks within flashbacks, side-tracks and random flashes to different points in time, but somehow they left a few key pieces on the cutting room floor. So for the whole movie you are trying to figure out what is happening, until the ending where you realize it wasn't worth the effort. The plot involves a group of medical students kidnapped by a nasty group of people that use live victims to forcefully train unwilling doctors (that never fight back for unknown reasons), harvest organs from live victims using the nonsensical argument of 'not leaving any traces of anaesthesia', and somehow also find time to work on cures to diseases just so they can infect their victims with nasty diseases. Despite all of this nastiness though, it isn't as graphic as one would expect. Within this group there is a demented 'brilliant' surgeon in a silly leather coat who changes his attitude throughout the movie depending on the writer's whim, and the ending, naturally, has a twist that kills whatever coherency you managed to figure out.

A German Se7en clone that not only offers nothing new, it has a nonsensical premise concerning a twisted fascination with tattoos, and especially the skin they are imprinted on. It even has a moody detective and a young apprentice tracking down gruesome deaths, and the movie piles on the visuals with gratuitous mutilated corpses in a morgue, skinned victims, a sewer, gruesome gifts in a box, and even a burned corpse with an intact breast. Stylish and atmospheric, but predictable, dull and brainless.

Texas Chainsaw Massacre: The Beginning, The  
Watching this piece of nasty brutality, I found myself wondering why I enjoyed the plotless, filthy, brutal Devil's Rejects but not this. The answer was simple: Style, dark humor and lots of character. This prequel to a tiresome remake of a classic horror movie with 3 bad sequels has no excuse. It serves up another collection of teenagers for the slaughter, then slaughters them gorily and sadistically. It builds up some tension and terror at times, then dashes it with stupid behaviour, scenes of a skimpily-dressed girl crawling, and unfunny camp that caters to fans of the serial killer Leatherface. The typical stupid-girl formula is matched by an even stupider macho-scene involving a young man trying to prove himself to a killer through push-ups. It promises some back-story, then runs through the most idiotic setup: Leatherface uses a chainsaw just because it was there, and the family eats humans because they're poor and hungry, while a fat cow wanders around the streets smashing up cars. Useless and undeserved extreme violence.

Thrill of a Kill, The  
The opening dream-sequence is the only good thing about this very uninspired and dull movie that uses every possible cliche about a serial killer. The killer's silly background involving hatred for his slut mother is told in flashbacks, but mostly, this is just some fat guy sadistically playing and killing young girls. There's even a repetitive scene where he appears out of nowhere, bashes her over the head, strips her and leaves her in the forest just so this whole sequence can be repeated and we can watch her collect her clothes repeatedly. All this should spell out some kind of comedy, except it isn't funny and the movie just keeps going endlessly with random humiliations, sadistic bloody carvings and slashings, cannibalism, rape and various sexual perversions. The splatter is borderline, but the sadism would be extreme if it weren't so dull and unrealistic.

Timber Falls  
Horror movies often make their characters do really stupid things in order to move the horror along, but this one finds new ways to make them stupid. A young couple are out hiking, and encounter some fundamentalist and mutant backwood wackos sporting a warped religious agenda involving marriage and torture. So what do they do? Take every chance they get to provoke them and force their hand to do increasingly more desperate acts of violence. And why? Evidently, because the film-makers think that ranting against religious folk makes you a hero regardless of how stupid and suicidal it actually is. In fact, they take this so far, that one of the 'tortures' they come up with is to marry them off with a priest and have religious-sanctioned sex, horrifying activities that our heroes illogically resist with their very lives. Add to this gratuitous sadism and a bit of graphic torture that rarely rings true to the characters, just because it's trendy. They even have a character lose his step in the woods in a stupid scene just so they can stick a piece of wood in his arm and fill a gore quota. So although this looks like it may be an entertaining backwoods horror movie on the surface with plenty of building energy and tension, the stupidity and contrived trend-hopping kills it.

Tortured, The  
The makers of this movie are so eager to torture someone on screen, that they contrive a scenario where a child is tortured and killed by a despicable maniac just in order to justify their ambitions. They then rush through the clumsy setup, write painful cliches as the dialog, hire bad actors to chew the scenery in forced and annoying melodrama, and finally slow down when they reaches their intended goal: The chance to use up all of their limited creativity in torture scenes involving angry parents who happen to be doctors, using medical jargon to come up with grisly sadism. After it climaxes in gruesome torture scenes, the movie gets a guilt trip and wants to moralize, so it adds a heavy-handed and very stupid twist that makes no sense and is impossible if you think about it for 2 seconds. This is worse than a complete waste of time, it is an insult by sadistic movie makers.

Torturer, The  
Lamberto Bava's comeback movie may be technically nice to look at but combines the worst aspects of a dull Pinku with an over-emphasis on nasty torture, and a dumb giallo with a random surprise killer and idiotic Freudian psychology. Dumb girls are being auditioned; Dumb girls are made to undress; Dumb girls are being tortured to death; Guess who is the perpetrator. Bottom of the barrel recycled plot, not enough nudity, no interesting gore.

"Hostel on a train with much more gore" just about sums this one up, except it's so empty-headed, badly acted and pointless that it makes Hostel look like a masterpiece. Young American wrestlers on a tour in Russia go to a party (cue the programmed sex and nudity), then embark on a special train, only to find it is run by a group of organ harvesters. Except these guys and gals don't simply drug you and steal your organs, they, for no good reason whatsoever, beat you to a bloody pulp with brass knuckles, urinate on you, slice open your back and hammer your spine to stop you from squirming, then pull out your eyeball or penis all the while you're still unrealistically alive and screaming, then they move on to the next victim to get a different organ from him instead of harvesting them all from the same person. This one is so gruesome, it managed to be both a gorehound movie and a torture-porn movie, except it is so incompetent that it is never scary, just boring sadistic gore. I hate you Eli Roth.

This Chilean chunk of extreme exploitation garbage opens with a scene of a teenage boy forced to rape his own mother while she's being murdered, then the next scene involves an explicit titillating lesbian sex scene. That's basically all you need to know about this movie and we can stop here. I mean, what kind of film-maker figures that the same person who just watched gory necrophilia incest would want to watch some soft-core porn immediately afterwards? Enough said. The rest of the movie just tries to tick every exploitation box it can: nasty graphic rape, gay sadomasochism, constant extremely brutal acts of violence, torture games, rape/revenge, gun action, home invasion, etc. It's boring even as exploitation since it's like a very long highlight porno reel for depraved idiots rather than an actual movie with a plot. And it doesn't work as intense horror since all the characters in this movie constantly do one idiotic thing after another and never make any sense, and the constant bestial behaviour just makes one indifferent. And this is why extreme cinema is dead. A boring movie.

Turnpike Killer, The  
Early, grainy, retro serial-killer flick from the makers of The Super, modeled after Maniac and the like. A heavily muscled man is capturing women for torture and death at the behest of an inner voice talking about sins, chosen ones and other nonsense. He turns on the charm one minute, then suddenly is a creepy stalker, turning psychotic over stupid little things and his own delusions. Most of the gore is off-screen, but it is nasty and gritty nevertheless. One scene features him abusing and then killing a young couple in front of each other and teasing him with her intestines. There are serious lighting and sound issues, the acting ranges from barely passable to poor, and the movie as a whole is just boring, uninspired exploitation.

Unforgiving, The  
South African movie with 75 movies of constant violence backed by a non-linear puzzle that has to be restructured by the audience regarding who is after whom and when it all happened. This may sound good, except that the presentation of the puzzle and its clues in initial scenes are purposely misleading and are basically lies told to the audience. In addition, there are a couple of twists, at least one of which makes no sense. The soundtrack consists of constantly overblown punctuated sound, as if the directors thought that every scene is a climax, which of course gets annoying very quickly. The dialog is painfully bad, the gore is minimal despite the constant violence and some torture scenes involving a huge drill. And finally, the whole movie is filmed in close-up shaky-cam so that your eyes have had enough after ten minutes. In short, unwatchable.

A man is kidnapped by a mad doctor and his mute brutish assistant and subjected to various tortures, psychological pressures, surgeries and strange experiments seemingly with the goal to transform him, but into what and why? Although this sadistic movie doesn't feature grisly graphic torture (some surgery scenes notwithstanding), it's just one long scene involving the sadistic breaking down of a man's mind and body by twisted minds and motivations. This could have been a horrific experience, except that the acting is weak, the twists were predictable from the first few minutes, the ending is very unsatisfying, the mental breakdown is completely unrealistic, and the movie just ends up saying more about the writer's fantasies than anything else.

You have got to be kidding me. This Saw-clone took everything that was stupid about the Saw series and amplified it. They obviously tried to come up with any scenario that would: A) Make torture into a contestant game B) Lock people up and make them torture themselves for any reason. Then a creatively-challenged guy said: Let's have drug dealers extract chemicals from the brain created when the person is in pain, and then lock some people up and make them produce these chemicals themselves or else they die. We can even show a progress bar according to the amount of pain they inflict on each other. Perfect! Besides the obviously ridiculous and impractical way of doing this and the stupidity of the idea, as with Saw, nobody ever actually tries to think of ways around the rules or even ways to minimize the damage. Nope, they all go for gruesome tortures and the most illogical choices throughout the movie. At one point, a smart guy says that they can create these chemicals by having sex, and...get this... a girl says she would rather be tortured for hours rather than have sex. I kid you not. If ever rape was justified, this was it. I must say, despite the title of this movie, I haven't laughed this much at the writers of a horror movie in ages.

Woman, The  
Another collaboration between Jack Ketchum and Lucky McKee, and yet another undisciplined, unconvincing mess. A sadistic father and son combo dominate and abuse every woman they come across, to the most sadistic extremes they can think of, because we all know that's how men are. Get a clue people: It's not misogynistic when men are portrayed as abusing women, it's misandrist. The father finds a feral women in the forest and brings her home as a pet, forcing his wife, son and daughters to join him in his pet project, except, of course, he has obvious ulterior motives. Gender hatred, fear, sexual aggression and sadism ensue. McIntosh's performance as the wild woman wavers between ferociously gripping and laughably 'I am woman hear me roar', as if the director told her to act like a woman about to bite a man, rather than a woman brought up by wolves. The movie can't seem to decide whether this is a sequel of Offspring and therefore she is the last surviving member of a cannibal commune, or whether she was raised by wolves. It also doesn't help that she was found wearing clothes, is too flabby to be living off the forest, and for some reason, decided to shave her armpits and legs. The surprise ending further undermines this mess of a movie that has its moments, but which, in the end, is just a movie that wants to push buttons without earning them.

World of Kanako, The  
Japanese ultra-violence that feels like a blend of Bully and Oldboy, if not for the horrible editing job and completely pointless and undeserved violence. The story is about a psychotic father in search of his psychotic daughter, chased by a wide variety of psychotic criminals, and the various victims of their random violence all become psychotic and violent as well. People don't talk to each other in this movie, they practically greet each other by brutally beating each other up with whatever they can get their hands on. Even when it is in their best interest not to. In addition to the constant brutal violence, there's forced prostitution, sodomy of a teenage boy, school bullying, and random marital and incestuous rape. Don't assume it's disturbing though, because it's all so artificial and inhuman. It becomes very tedious in the first 20 minutes, and then there's another torturous hour and a half to watch. Every time you think one of these violent creatures (that are too violent to be called animals), are finally going to be killed, they laughably brush off their wounds and keep ticking, like supermen. And the editing job makes it 100 times worse: They use every trick known to man to make it impossible to follow what is happening: split-second cutting, random jumping between different time-lines, shaky-cam, blurry-cam, etc. I think it's the worst editing job I've ever seen.

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