A Taste of Phobia
Vesta Pictures/Enchanted Architect in collaboration with Trash Arts
Runtime – 94 minutes
Today finds me perched on my arse frantically researching the meanings of a plethora of phobia thanks to my generous friends at Artsploitation Films. In a similar vein to The ABC’s of Death (part one and two), VHS (the sequels) the lesser known Grindsploitation series and a slew of other collections with nowhere near the same amount of much needed publicity this collection pools together international talent displaying their talents and celluloid creativity on the varied subject everyone of us have issues with (in one way or another) and each with its meaning/translation buried somewhere in the depths of the Greek language.
Without further ado a short, but exhaustive, rundown on each.
1) CHAETOPHOBIA – fear of hair
Director – Lorenzo Zanoni and Alessandro Sisti (directorial debuts)
Vivid, stark and unflinching this segment might make you think twice about using wax and answering the door to hairless strangers dressed in plumbers fatigues.
Hair, and lots of the stuff
2) PHARMACOPHOBIA – fear of medication
Director – Chris Milewski (aka Luciano Imperoli, Gianni Batzella and Paul Clever)
A pharmacist who has the sniffles ironically despises medications of any kind. Imagine the consequences when he finally succumbs to the wishes of his loved ones who fear his cold may be getting the better of him.
3) PARTHENOPHOBIA – fear of young girls, especially virgins.
Director – Alessandro Redaelli (P.O.E III – Pieces of Eldritch)
A virgin on the set of a ‘porno’ film causes bouts of irrational anxiety for its celebrated star. Wha-?
4) COPROPHOBIA -fear of waste/feces
Director – Jason Impey (VIPCO the untold story, 60 Seconds to Die)
Imagine if you will a scenario where you don’t just wrestle with your fear of poop but literally wrestle with “it”. Imagine no longer for its now slathered in sleaze, silliness and depicted in stunning schiite-o-vision.
5) MYSOPHOBIA – fear of germs
Director – Poison Rouge (American Guinea Pig -Sacrifice)
Because sometime precautions, sterile pouches, hand sanitizer and plastic sheeting just isn’t enough. Naturally there’s always a handy dandy straight razor to help rectify the situation.
6) MAZEOPHOBIA – fear of mazes/being lost
Director – Dustin Ferguson (Camp Blood 4 and 5, Meta hook Massacre II)
Would you/could you trust a total stranger to assist you to reach your destination in a strange land when all seems lost, and even your cellphone decides to not cooperate.
7) ASTROPHOBIA (aka “Immeasurable Heaven”) – fear of stars
Director – Alessandro Giordani (P.O.E, Videoblog, Sator)
Madness ensues when the sheer enormity of the universe and the insignificance of Earth crushes down upon one man and all thanks to a subscribton to a specific YouTube channel dedicated to the many wonders and unfathomable trivia associated with the multiverse.
8) MAGEAPHOBIA – the fear of cooking
Director – Domiziano Cristopharo (Doll Sydrome, Red Krokodil)
Whilst preparing an elaborate dish gruesome visions start to assault the synapses of the chef. These visions lead to understanding, then sympathy for a cause then action which might make the viewer think twice about preparing a meal with much the same ingredients.
(Note – this segment is stylized much like the segments in the original Creepshow)
9) GERASCOPHOBIA – fear of ageing
Director – Rob Ulitski ( Maniacal, Deep Web XXX)
This segment explores perfection/eternal youth and how social media drives one to want to attain it. Utilizing ‘The Swap’ may be a way to get there, but be careful what you wish for especially if you have limited funds.
An image plucked from the legendary Gilliam feature – Brazil
10) POLITICOPHOBIA – fear of politics
Director – Jackson Batchelor (Maniacal, Trash Arts Killers -Volume one)
Topically and thought provoking yet rather simplistic this segment explores through stark imagery what many us might actually be wrestling with internally adnasium as we X a ballot for more of the same.
11) SOMNIPHOBIA – fear of sleep
Director(s) – Sophia Cacciola (Blood of the Tribades, Clickbait) Michael J Epstein (60 seconds to Die, Blood of the Tribades)
Sleep is essential, lack of it brings ‘weirdness’ but sometimes it just takes away from the time we need to get something (often mind blowingly drastically important) done.
12) ONEIROPHOBIA – fear of dreams
Director – Sam Mason Bell (2 Die For, Maniacal)
Dreams are sometimes merely only that but in other instances they can drive one to…Yea I’m not going to spoil this one!
It’s not Freddy but it is equally as terrifying
13) NYCTOPHOBIA – fear of the dark
Director – ?
The all too familiar takes on a life of its own when the lights dim, when the light dissapears altogether one is plunged into a realm of mystery, where anything or ‘anyone’ might lurk with dubious intentions.
14) HEMOPHILIA – fear of blood
Director – Davide Pesca (Deep Web XXX)
The wrap around segment climaxes in a Cronenberg/Neitzsche- esque vibe “And if you gaze long enough into an abyss, the abyss will gaze back into you”.
ACHLUOPHOBIA – fear of darkness
Director – Jason Impey
Another entry dedicated to the fear of the absence of light and that which might lurk amidst it’s many folds.
Ranging from the obscure, the creepy, the terrifying, the over-the-top silly and even a few thought provoking segments (that many of might be able to relate to) this collection manages to peak interest in the output from a managerie of filmakers that most of us have probably never heard of. Truth be told I could spend days tracking this stuff down only to lock myself away to view it undisturbed. Naturally, much like in any collection of this type, there are segments which stand out more than others based on merit, shock value, quality and numerous other elements (all depending of course on the viewers preferrence and priority). Of those listed I have my favorites. Gerascophobia, Astrophobia, Mageaphobia and the wrap-around climax with its synth soundtrack are in my opinion especially effective. Though with that being said each of the others show definite potential in one way or another. There’s no doubt with a collection boasting such diverse creativity and talent such as this the future of the (underground) industry is in capable hands promising a spectrum of viewpoints, varied approach and influence for a new wave of filmmakers to emulate and look to for inspiration. Collections such as this in this regard have an immeasurable importance to keep the scene thriving only one of many reasons. And I for one cannot wait to see what it offers up to blanket my hungry senses. I only hope that I wouldn’t drown in the celluloid landslide as I would more than likely allow it wash over me like a ravenous storm. I’m silly like that!
If the absence of collections such as this haven’t left you wanting (in all honesty they are still circulating you merely have to know where to look) and they strike your fancy you can do no wrong in giving this a moment of your time. But be warned doing so may well open up the floodgates. It might mean your digits start searching for other films, no matterbthe cost, to add to your vast spilling-over -into-the-living-quarters library (if you are anything like me) and it may well mean you might become suddenly obsessed (for the Internet is a forever tempting mistress) with keeping up with the direction and output from talent much like that displayed here. This quest may well even spawn a new phobia.
And the cycle starts anew. So on and so forth…
Your slave to celluloid shocking, bizarre, thought provoking and oftentimes just plain silly but still fun nevertheless.
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