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It has been quite the shit show of weeks—everyone is mentally tired, anxious, and a little on edge. Almost every bit of new media hurts to consume, and while it's probably the most damaging to our mental health, the "social" kind has taken a more prominent role in our lives. Seemingly, people have a lot of movie time on their hands but understandably have little motivation to put anything on. For whatever reason, Disney decided it was an excellent time to censor the classic butt-scene from Splash (1984). Shit's fucked. Despite living in a cultural bubble, I have been more of a bummer than usual, and my already slowed posting schedule has suffered a bit. Plus, even though I don't subscribe to Disney+ and probably never will, that CGI hair on Daryl Hannah's backside really affected me.
Sincerely, I hope you are staying safe, healthy and have found a way to enjoy the good the world still has. Anyway, I will get back to posting regular articles by myself and others soon, including all the rambunctious positivity for which VideoReligion is known far and wide. In the meantime, here are some quick thoughts about movies I have seen for the first time in the last few weeks.

Short Reviews

Below are some quick thoughts on shit that I have checked out for the first time within the last few days. This includes some relatively more mainstream media, recent random finds, and my usual weird fare. Unlike my other reviews, I have only watched these things once. As these are mostly knee -jerk reactions, all are subject to me completely changing my mind on a second viewing, absolute misunderstanding on my part, or a full "review" at a future date.

Goreface Killer aka Attack of the Cockface Killer (2002)

This is the first in a trilogy of over the top, sex-obsessed, low budget horror films featuring the perverse exploits of a killer with a dildo strapped to his face. It begins with watching the villainous "Cockface Killer" offing a bunch of hicks mid-coitus, while simultaneously following a group of skate punks as they discuss horror movies and hang out in various places. When the slayings start to thin the numbers in their social group, Skeet the Skate and a few friends take the offensive against the phallic fiend… well kinda.  The frugal affair makes its way through low-brow jokes, amuteur sleaze, and homemade gore with a great soundtrack of local metal, including the Cockface theme song. It kept me entertained with childish offensiveness even though half of the humor is composed of (what I assume is) inside "scene" jokes.
(IMDB - On Amazon)

Goregasm (2007)

This sequel ups the production quality a bit, with some obvious dollars thrown at the gore and nudity. Cockface also has been working out and no longer has trouble walking. Several gags run chaotically through the plot, with a gang of sadistic females and a porn-store full of characters introduced. The progression makes as much sense as it needs to, although I miss the soundtrack from the first. It often feels like an upgraded version of the original story with less hometown spirit, but it's still a decent low-budget comedic slasher, if not a little longer than it needs to be. My biggest beef is the name. There is already a movie called Gorgasm (1990), and it's a classic of sleazy, cheap splatter.
(IMDB - On Amazon)

Grimewave: Cockface III (2013)

Once again, the film series seems to have added more dollars to the affair. It's more or less a colorful live-action cartoon of dick and fart jokes. Watching them back to back, the three films in the ridiculous collection do a great job of parodying the escalating life cycle of a slasher series. This one even involves a possible sex cult as an origin for the seemingly supernatural Cockface. It is the most coherent of the three, although that's not saying much--basically, some of the gags just have better timing. There is much more offensive humor, maybe a little less on-screen nudity, and a mix of the recurring practical gore with some new (horrible) CGI blood. If you like stupid, gross fun (and the first two) it's not going to disappoint. Anyone else should stay away from the whole series. I'm part of the first group and was not unhappy with the chaotic last chapter in the Cockface trilogy.
(IMDB - On Amazon)

The Lighthouse (2019)

As far as new age hipster cinema fuel goes, nothing leads the internet cool-kids to declare themselves cinephiles like A24. All shit-talking aside, I have been mostly happy with the studio’s mark on the mainstream. The Lighthouse is no different, and while I can see why the appeal wasn't as broad as say Midsommer, I enjoyed the black and white display of madness. It is somewhat unique for big-budget cinema, with a lot to chew on and strong acting. Puzzling as it is purposeful, the film is a bleak, seemingly personal fable with some hefty what the fuck moments. I liked it, although I don't want to hear any theories on what it means… I'm serious, just don't.
(IMDB - WIKI - On Amazon)

When Death Calls (2012)

This one is a digital camcorder anthology of supernatural yarns and sometimes pointless, titty-filled murders, which pulls together like an episode of Hot Line. There is just a light hint of Giallo in there, but mainly it's your average DIY slashers and some amateur Twilight Zone antics. Each plot goes down smoothly with nudity, adequate gore, and a mix of performance quality. It's all tied by a radio host who really drives home the softcore porn feels. My favorites of the tales are the two that extend past the regular ol’ slashings with a paranormal twist. Tina Krause also makes an appearance, and I'm always happy to see her, no matter how short her screen time. Altogether, the film is solid for what it is--an entertaining micro-budget collection of classic horror tropes and boobs.
(IMDB - On Amazon)

John Henry (2020)

I had no idea what I was getting into here, I saw it on the shelf at Walmart and thought it looked like something to put on in the background one day, incorrectly assuming it was a modern retelling of John Henry, done in near Asylum-style b-movie fashion. Later, I saw it listed on Netflix and ended up sitting my ass down to watch the whole thing. It's more drama than action and more than a little silly, but I was totally engaged. Terry Crews is fantastic and not just because we share a name. It's not a massive jump from humorous outings, but the retro comic book-esque tale is built around his hulking badass with a heart of gold style. Living legend Ken Foree plays his dad and steals every scene he rolls through. Ludacris is there too, as the film's main baddie, which takes the movie into a pulpy place I can appreciate. I miss films like this in the mainstream. It is low key, with none of the extreme CGI laden, blurry garbage that seems to plague every subset of the action genre.
(IMDB - WIKI - On Amazon)

Short Film

The Tattooist (2018)

Most of The Tattooist's story must be inferred, as it is a rapid piece, fashioned as a faux trailer. However, what is included is an oddly appealing dose of violence, neon lights, and gruesome implications. Michael Wong's short strobes the bloodletting of body modification and butchery together in a striking aesthetic that hangs on after its 80 min runtime is over. If this serving of pretty gore is any indication as to future works, I can't wait for more from the filmmaker.
Fun fact: I have no tattoos other than a self-done remnant from my crust punk days. I always figured I would get some work done eventually, although this flick didn't expedite the process.
You can check out the full project below or on Michael Wong's Vimeo.


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