Horror DVD roundup
- Henry Northmore
- 19 March 2009
Saw reshaped the landscape of modern horror, and you can relive it all with The Saw Goreology (Lionsgate) ●●●. The first two are refreshingly brutal, but parts IV and V (pictured) become bogged down in their own mythology. However, you can always rely on some slick, sick inventive kills and a decent dose of viscera.
Fans of trash cinema rejoice. Repo: The Genetic Opera (Lionsgate) ●●● is the frankly insane bastard offspring of Rocky Horror and Blade Runner, a full on musical about organ repossession set in a dark future directed by Darren Lynn Bousman (Saw II-IV). The diverse cast (including Sarah Brightman, Anthony Head, Paris Hilton and Paul Sorvino) give game performances but none of the songs are particularly memorable.
Some absolutely cracking horror films break on the direct-to-DVD market. Splinter (Icon) ●●●● is a prime example. First time feature director Toby Wilkins offers a classic monster movie with a very modern twist as a gas station is besieged by the infectious 'splinter parasite' that rapidly takes over its host, creating a mutated, ravenous creature. The Rage (Anchor Bay) ●●● is a blood-drenched, tongue in cheek cheapo bringing to mind forgotten 80s splatter classics Street Trash and Cannibal Apocalypse. In The Signal (Optimum) ●●●● three directors (David Bruckner, Dan Bush and Jacob Gentry) join forces for a unique collaboration. Each directs a third of the movie, filming their segment then 'passing along' the finished product for the next director to take up the reins. It's a thought provoking and brutal sci-fi horror with an underlying comment on media saturation.
The Tattooist (Icon) ●● delves into Samoan culture and cursed tattoos; it almost works but takes itself far too seriously. It's all Se7en’s fault that we get dull, pseudo-intellectual copycats like Anamorph (Contender) ●● as Willem Dafoe chases a serial killer who arranges his victims as works of art. Finally some 70s giallo with Watch Me When I Kill (Shameless) ●●●, director Antonio Bido might ape Dario Argento's style, but he does so with considerable style.
See interviews with Toby Wilkins (director of Splinter) at http://www.list.co.uk/article/16651-splinter-toby-wilkins-interview/
See interview with Darren Lynn Bousman and Terrance Zdunich (director, writer and star of Repo: The Genetic Opera) at http://www.list.co.uk/article/16649-interview-repos-darren-lynn-bousman-and-terrance-zdunich/