Known in the VHS underworld for its rare big box, the cheap Lunch Meat stumbles with shoddy amateur camera work and off screen violence. The first half is actually (relatively) watchable as we anticipate any gore or screwed-up acts to come, while getting to know the goof ball characters. Unfortunately Lunch Meat flat lines. The second half is nothing but all-male hillbilly cannibals–who are more like the four stooges–chasing young adults in the forest. Oh the humanity. [rating: $3] –Kenyon
Sorta similiar: Just Before Dawn, Don’t Go in the Woods, Hills Have Eyes (1977), Splatter Farm
Infamous for being amateur yet respectfully daring, this shot-on-video (ie, camcorder, home movie) abnormality has as many gross-outs as it does laughs. Adding to the offbeatness is that the depictions on the VHS slipcase and DVD release have characters and stills not in the movie, ie there is no woman in a beige outfit. In fact, there’s barely anything resembling a farm in Splatter Farm.
Despite its seemingly mild-manner tone set by unlikeable twins who reluctantly visit their depraved aunt, Splatter Farm is a savage, hullucinagetic trip with innovative cheap gore effects. And as cheap as it is, this unique film manages to be shockingly repulsive. Bodies are dismembered, sexual interactions are pushed to the edge, a knife is excremented (i think) and a guy is buried in a shallow grave, nude and possibly still alive. And that’s not even the worst (best?) of it. Believe it or not, there is actually a satisfying surprise twist at the last minute. This is must-see, even if it’s the re-edited DVD version.[rating: $9] –Kenyon
Cannibal Holocaust (1980) If there has ever been a film that you can call “not for the squeamish,” it’s Cannibal Holocaust–hell, it was banned in like 50 countries. A groundbreaking, shocking cannibal film that, although isn’t perfect, set the bar for copycats (Welcome to the Jungle, anyone? Kenyon raises his hand). Shot on 16mm, it’s gruesome and explicit, even by today’s standards. It’s even controversial within the film itself, while the production and filming faced all sorts of problems. If you want to get deep, read up about the social-political messages it represents. Without spoiling anything (really, it’s just something you have to see), most of the first half of the film follows an anthropologist searching in the Amazon jungle for a lost group of people who were filming some sort of twisted documentary about native tribes, and apparently, cannibal tribes. Although the group is notorious for setting up graphic scenes, they are now dead, and likely eaten. The search party is able to obtain the film reels and bring them back to the U.S, where they discover that the footage is not at all appropriate for public exposure. As the film within a film progresses, the documentary crew pushes things WAY too far in their quest to fabricate their story. Inevitably, they end up as bones. Now, there are some scenes in Holocaust–some of it is REALLY effed up–that are REAL. That said, the uncut version deserves an NC-17 rating, as it is difficult to forget. [rating: $10] –Kenyon
Here’s a smart comment someone posted on this video: “Pathetic how people bitch about the killing of 7 animals that were killed 32 years ago, whilst in the meantime, hundreds of thousands of animals are being ‘processed’ in farms and the like. At this very moment, imagine how many animals- like Sheep, Cows, Goats, Chickens and the like -are savagely being slaughtered just so your fridge doesn’t have an empty meat section. There’s no such thing as ‘Civilization’. We’re just cocky because we’re clever. Humankind is and always will be, savage.”