A Slew of Indie Cinema: Stabbed in the Face, Gremlin, Redwood Massacre, & Goregasm

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In honor of my generous friends at Wild Eye Releasing, Uncorked Entertainment and Raw from this weekends (Texas) Frightmare event I’m compiling a review segment covering only a few of the features I procured whilst browsing all the glorious cinematic goodies they had on offer.
Starting with…
 
Stabbed in the Face (2004)
USA
Written and Directed by Jason Matherne and Jared Scallions
Runtime – 81 minutes
Terror Optics
Wild Eye Releasing/Raw
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Well, this is a rough one folks. Whilst it has enough tits and ass, curse words and carnage to sate most Gorehounds it also boasts acting that leaves a lot to be desired, direction that’s all over the place and a storyline that lacks fluidity but not the element of confusion.
A saving grace appears in the form of plentiful grisly effects which showcase a slew of throat slashing, a few highly ambitious gore sequences and painfully obvious influence plucked from films found in the Friday the 13th franchise and the lesser known but controversial Fulci gem The New York Ripper.
Recommended for fans of zero budget films, who have an understanding of what to expect, and an eye for albeit brief flashes of brilliance and potential. This is a tough one to sit through folks so don’t say I didn’t warn ya!  The same writing and directing duo went on to create Goregasm whixh is mused upon below (Jason went on to direct Grimewave) exploiting the further adventures of Cock Face Killer (originally found in the aptly titled Attack of the Cockface Killer from 2002).
Gremlin (2017)
USA
Written and Directed by Ryan Bellgardt
Runtime – 89 minutes
Uncork’D Entertainment 
High Octane Pictures
Boiling Point Media
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An unrelenting curse, similar to a regifted fruitcake which one cannot seem to get rid of no matter how hard one tries, plagues whomever happens to possess it up until the point it’s passed on to another. Unlike It Follows, Gremlin showcases a creature the viewer can see rather than try to only visualize. The reveal comes almost immediately, in the very first scene in fact, leaving only it’s origins and the curses’ reasonings until the final stanza.
Gremlin flows at an easy to follow swift pace boasting more than enough excitement and well crafted tension to keep its viewership intrigued. The acting is surprisingly competent and doesn’t hinder the storyline progress any and the films direction is admittedly better than expected based on what many might think is a rather silly premise. The calibre of the effects also assist in making the film utterly watchable although many, not I,  might take offence at the mostly CGI aspect present. Obviously part of this films allure comes from its title and the glaring neon nature of it being similar to another showcasing the antics of lovable fuzzy, at first, miscreant types sporting a beyond cult status. Looking past that however Gremlin is a film I can (and will) recommend without reservation. Sure, it’s not a huge Hollywood budget feature, it’s not heavy on gore or TnA, but it oozes charm, style and bodes extremely well for future efforts from the creative team responsible.
Gremlin is in essence a slice of budget filmmaking that delivers, give this a peek.
 
The Redwood Massacre (2014)
UK/Scotland
Written and Directed by David Ryan Keith
Runtime – 85 minutes
Clear Focus Movies
Uncork’D Entertainment 
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Admittedly this has very little of a storyline, however, it does boast a damn sight more than one might expect when it comes to the independent slasher flick genre. Impressive first and foremost is the features utilization of ingenious camera work which sports angles and shadow effects that only add to the overall viewing experience (nods to various other slasher films/cult affais aplenty!)
The acting is impressive for the genre. Liam Mathesan (Attack of the Herbals) helps flesh out the backstory with his portrayal of a crazed farmer type.
One character, in particular, is instantly dislikable, a factor that hugely aids in the viewers intrigue (seriously who wants the asshole to survive when others around them only perish).
Spoiler alert (read past this as it’s utterly unlike me to spoil much of anything in a review)  – the ‘final girl’ element though not inventive at this point in the genre works well and climaxes in a location and finale one might not expect.
Character reaction nuance adds to the films tension as too does an epic score which is somewhat classic in nature at times. The kills are plentiful, obviously expected and are drenched in claret with nods aplenty to Hostel, Friday the 13th and even in one instance the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. A backstory is a surprising addition where many features chose instead to keep “origins” a mystery this explores madness and the many issues related to living in isolation. And I must mention the location and scenery if it not for the ‘legend’ it might even make one want to visit (insert knowing, winking, smiley face here!)
Overall The Redwood Massacre is highly watchable, a shining example of independent filmmaking and a must see for fans of the genre. I’m honestly excited for what David Ryan has to offer next as this is a great step up from his previous effort Attack of the Herbals – which although not fantastic certainly sports well executed dark comedic elements and an intriguing storyline worthy of a peek. Make this a triple billing with (Escape from) Cannibal Farm and Dogged and you have yourself a delicous evening of diverse UK independent cinema ahead of ya! 
Goregasm (2007)
USA
Written and Directed by Jason Matherne and Jared Scallions
Runtime – 90 minutes
Terror Optics
Wild Eye Releasing/Raw
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Filthy Franks Fuck Flicks and Fake Dicks,
C.L.A.M A collective of women led by a latex donned dominatrix who hate men, a myriad of quotes you’ll find yourself repeating adnasium, The Cockface Killer, inept cops and enough tits and ass to embarrass Italian smut peddler Tinto Brass. There’s really not much else you need to know about this one. It certainly is a film which lives up to its moniker and then some. Punk rock and assorted silliness abounds Troma style but I’m finding it hard not to like this based on its no holds barred vibe, excessive middle finger in the face of decency sensabilities  and willingness to offend without apology.
Watching Goregasm is like careening face first down a gradient encrusted with broken glass bottles, a journey that goes “way off the rails” boasting a story that’s loosely stitched together and confusing to say the least it’s still laden with the sickest type of humor one could imagine and thus warranted of a peek by the most jaded of those of us hiding in plain sight. 
You’ve been warned! Be prepared for copious amounts of bodily fluids, naughtiness and depravity.
 
That’s about it for this installment folks, lets keep the Indy scene, inventiveness and creation alive don’t be afraid to discover outside of the Hollywood realm.
 
Your slave to Cinema extreme, depraved, inventive and frugal
Cult

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One response to “A Slew of Indie Cinema: Stabbed in the Face, Gremlin, Redwood Massacre, & Goregasm

  1. Pingback: An Interview With “Redwood Massacre” Director David Ryan Keith | DRUNK IN A GRAVEYARD·

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