Guts and Grog Tooned Up

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Peach MoMoKo:Guinea Pig: Flower of Flesh and Blood (1985)

Flower of Flesh and Blood is definitely my favorite of the Guinea Pig films. I was more than happy when I received this pen and ink piece from Peach, which is absolutely stunning.

Make sure to check out Peach's website here.

Henry: Portrait of a Shit Movie Fest

Before I start I just wanted to say thanks to Eric for inviting me back to his blog for another week of featured Bloggers from the Horror Community! Last time around for his "Horror With Training Wheels" Week I did a write up about my love for Full Moon Pictures and The Puppet Master Series (here), and for the "Extreme Week" I choose to do a writeup for the Ultra Low Budget and Downright Sick "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer"!

Before I get into "Henry" bear with me for a second, a few weeks ago I recently picked up the "WCW War Games: WCW's Most Notorious Matches" Blu-ray . . . For any non-wrestling fan reading this, "War Games" was two rings put together inside a gigantic Steel Cage and featured some of the Bloodiest Matches in the history of the sport! OK that's cool and all but what does that have to do with my post "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer" for Guts and Grog's Extreme Week? Well when I put on the second disk of the War Games Collection, I seen Chris Benoit . . . A man who's matches I go out of my way to avoid watching. I couldn't tell you the last time I sat and watched a Benoit match since he murdered himself and his family back in 2007, but there's something deeply disturbing now about watching this gifted athlete inflicting pain on his opponents and getting nothing but cheers and love from the crowd!

In a nutshell watching that match with Benoit is exactly how I feel about watching "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer", the movie is as fucked up and deprived as it get, yet you can't help but appreciate it for the Twisted Masterpiece it truly is! As much as I hate admit it, but I'd be hard pressed to name a better Wrestler then Chris Benoit, just like I would trying to find a movie that will make you feel like Henry does!
I first rented Henry in the mid-90s when my buddy Jim and I were on a Horror Movie renting crusade at our local video store "Moonlight Video". The cover of a man standing in front of a bathroom mirror wearing a white wife-beater didn't do much to pull me in, but the tag line "He's Not Freddy. He's Not Jason. He's Real!" certainly did the trick!

When I rented it, I didn't know anything about the movie or the serial killer Henry Lee Lucas it was sorta based off of, and I only just recently saw it's star Michael Rooker (sans hair) in the Kevin Smith film "Mallrats"! What I saw over Jimmy's house that night was maybe the bleakest film I ever witness up to that point, oh and I pretty much hated the everliving shit out of it! I don't recall what made me ever give H.P.O.A.S.K. a second chance, but I'm glad I did because over the years that I realized just how well acted of a movie it is and how important of a film it is in the Horror genre . . .

The opening scene in the movie tries to prepare you for the vicious onslaughts coming your way by only showing you the aftermath of some Henry's previous victims, in doing so it accomplishes setting up the uneasy nature of the film right off the bat!

The movie is shot in such away that in almost every scene throughout the movie you feel like a fly on the wall afraid to move as Henry and his roommate/partner in crime Otis (played perfectly by Tom Towles) are as cold as the windy city it's self as they stalk their prey in and around the gritty Chicago Metropolitan Area.
When these two aren't busy killing, the scenes between Henry, Otis, and Otis' sister Becky (who moved in with them at the start of the story) are beyond cringeworthy! Listening to these people talk about all the abuse they been through in their lives makes you feel sorry for them, and then Otis will do something sick like cop a feel on his sister and you go back to despising all 3 of them!

If I had to pick a favorite scene in this movie, the one I pick is oddly enough pretty hilarious, not sure if was Director John McNaughton's original intentions but the scene when Henry and Otis try to buy a used TV Set off a seedy man in a garage is a laugh riot! Judge for yourself . . .
( Watch Here )

After that scene things really start to unravel for the duo as Henry starts to take a liking to Becky, something that rubs Otis the wrong way . . . cause well in his mind that's his girl. After a bloody showdown in the cramped apartment between the once best friends a happy ending looks almost possible for Becky until she meets the same fate as all the girls that came before her . . . yesterday's garbage!

For this post I actually rented the Mid 90s sequel to Henry dubbed "Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer 2 Mask of Sanity" from Netflix . . . 
The director did a great job of capturing the look and feel of the original film, but without Rooker's involvement in the titular role it felt like a ripoff!

A Couple years back my friend Mike and I went out to Cincinnati for Horror Hound Weekend! ( Read Here) The two big reunions that weekend were for "Friday the 13th Part 6" and "Pet Sematary", but since Michael Rooker and Tom Towles were on hand there was also a mini-Henry reunion as well! Meeting Michael was an amazing experience. I always been a big fan of his diverse body of work . . . this is right before Walking Dead Mania hit full force, so while the line for Rooker was long, it was no where near as long as it's become at recent cons I've seen him at! I meet Michael the first night I was there and we talked some about "Slither" and of course P.O.A.S.K.! I told him how I recently saw the movie in 35mm at Exhumed Films 24 Hour Horror-thon ( Read Here ) and how it chased some people out of the theater in disgust! Mr. Rooker got a real kick out of that!

The next morning I meet Tom Towles and I'm happy to say he was nothing like the sicko Otis in real life, in fact he was a super nice guy! We didn't talk as much about Henry as we did his role in the Living Dead remake as "Harry Cooper"!

Since I brought my Henry DVD along to the con, I got both fellas sign that instead of getting a 8x10 signed!

Well hope you enjoy my post, if you haven't given this movie a shot yet do yourself a favor and get on that shit! Oh and one more thing before I leave . . . "Fuck the Bears!"

- Thomas Bryce

Tom runs Shit Movie Fest which  is a Blog and Facebook Page based off a monthly "Bad Movie Party" he does with his friends in Philadelphia! The first SMF Party was no different than what him and his  friend Chris were doing since they met in High School back in the 90s when they would watch a few movies and trash them, but over time SMF has continued to grow in both attendance and support from friends new and old!

Cannibal Holocaust Under a Full Moon

I want to thank Tromeric for asking me to contribute to Extreme Week on his blog. I've always been a huge fan of Guts and Grog, so it's an honor for me to share something for his blog's awesome theme. When I read the word "Extreme" when it comes to cinema, only one film really stuck out for me. It's a film I've been wanting to discuss for a very long time, mainly because it's an oft-requested film for me personally from my readers. Plus, the film is so controversial and so well known that I honestly couldn't call Full Moon Reviews a horror blog if this movie was never discussed. It's a film I didn't want to watch again, but I did for this write up. It sickens me, while at the same time makes me think about the hidden social commentary underneath. It's one of those Video Nasties that really deserved the title and the reputation it gets within fans of the exploitation/horror genre. And that film is Ruggero Deodato's 1980 CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST.

There's a reason why I held off on CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST for this long - it's a film you can't really review like you could for any other film. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST isn't a film made to entertain its audience. As a matter of fact, it'll most likely do the opposite. But I always considered CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST one of those films that really needs to be seen, even if I wouldn't recommend it for entertainment purposes only. There's so much going on in it, that the hype and buzz around it is totally justified. Hell, you wouldn't have THE BLAIR WITCH PROJECT or any found footage film that was released right after it without CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. It's historic for a reason - it's a film that truly deserves that tag line "Remember - it's only a movie".

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST goes down like this:
A group of four filmmakers go missing in some South American jungles [known as the Green Inferno] while shooting a documentary on a local tribe there. An anthropologist named Harold Monroe (Robert Kerman) is hired to lead an expedition to locate the filmmakers. While paying respect and speaking with two cannibal tribes known as the Yakumo and the Yamami, Monroe learns of the corpses of his targets. However, he finds some canisters of film, believing it's lost footage of the tragedy.

Monroe heads back to New York City to host a television special about the fates of the filmmakers, the expedition he took to find them, and the revelation of the lost footage. This exposure comes about due to the media believing that the filmmakers were tragically murdered by barbaric cannibals. However, Monroe and the producers of the special watch the footage, realizing that the true barbarians were the filmmakers themselves. They watch them rape, torture, and even murder some of the tribespeople - just to film footage that would look authentic for their documentary - only for them to receive the same treatment in return.

CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is a film that's the epitome of the word "extreme". It's notorious for a reason - this movie is made to shock its audience with graphic visuals of torture, murder, and even the rape of innocent women. Ruggero Deodato filmed the film in Colombia, wanting the footage to look as "real" as possible to make audiences believe they were really watching legit carnage in front of their eyes. For a 1980 film, it pushed the boundaries of what could be shown in cinema, and probably boundaries in what's considered good taste as well. Hell, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is still an uncomfortable watch in 2013! If there was any film that belonged on the "Video Nasty" list, this film was definitely it.

There isn't much of a "story" in CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST, but there is a plot and a message behind that plot. While the expedition story with Monroe is pretty interesting in a culture shock sort of way, it's really the faux documentary with Alan Yates and his crew that really make CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST the film that it is. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is a film within a film - not only do we watch the action unfold in horror and disgust, but so do Monroe and the producers of the television special at the same time. We are witness to four filmmakers who, while supposedly representing civilization and culture, pretty much degenerate into savages who hurt their subjects just for their own selfish pleasure and ambition.

It's really unsettling what these filmmakers do just to create a compelling film. They rape women. They make fun of the members of the tribe, looking down on them. They cut a friend's leg with a machete on camera, capturing every graphic detail. We also get a penis getting chopped off [pretty graphically, I might add]! The worst stuff is probably the animal cruelty [the real deal], which still gets to me even to this day. Watching a musk rat get gutted while still breathing is pretty chilling. We see a snake get chopped apart from a hatchet. A pig gets shot in the head while it's tied up. And probably the moment that makes me sicker than anything - a turtle being cut open right on camera, as its organs spill out in plain view. The turtle scene may be the only time where I actually wanted to puke while watching a movie. I think what makes it worse is that the actors are actually smiling, and even look excited, about harming these animals and these people. I get the intent when it comes to these scenes [killing and eating like the tribespeople do], but sometimes I feel Deodato took this a step too far. I'm not a member of PETA or anything, but I still find these scenes very disturbing to watch.

I think there are two reasons why CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST still resonates today. For one, the idea of savage vs. civilized is a thought provoking one. Even with laws, both moral and societal, man and woman can still act like monsters. At the start, we're supposed to identify with the filmmakers because they come from a civilized world where they're aware of right and wrong, only to get murdered in a barbaric world by people who act on instinct without any sort of consequence. Of course the tribespeople are the villains! They're not like us! Different equals bad, right? That's what makes the actual events in the film more shocking and appalling. It's these "civilized" people who are acting like the savages, doing terrible things to these tribespeople in order to make a great documentary - and probably because of ego and this idea of feeling superior to these so-called "primitive people". It's easy to accept these tribespeople as cannibals because that's their way of life. But there's really no excuse for these filmmakers and their actions. You start asking yourself who are the real savages here - the tribespeople or the filmmakers? Like in any zombie film, the monsters may just be the supposed protagonists themselves.

Also, I like this idea of doing extreme things for the documentary to create a level of sensationalism that's believed to be what the audience wants to see. It's like what we see on TMZ and in tabloid magazines. The greater the scandal, the more the intended audience wants to know. It's as if CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is trying to send a hidden message that filmmakers, or anyone who shoots things with a camera, are being exploitative. We film things not only to document them, but to manipulate the events in order to get some sort of reaction from our audience. Watching the footage, you can't help but notice the blurring of the lines of what's real and what's being manufactured. Are the filmmakers really like this, or are they just trying to make a shocking documentary? Are the filmmakers really this unaware of what they are getting themselves into, or are these events intentionally done to create some form of sick legacy? The moral dilemma is pretty thick here.

What helps everything is the fact that Deodato films the movie in a very gritty, dirty style. The scenes with Monroe are shot quite nicely and with more polish. But the found footage definitely has a documentary, low-budget, guerilla style that makes the events unfold in a way that you might actually believe what you're seeing if you didn't already know you were watching a film called CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. In fact, Deodato had to be put on trial, due to belief that the events in the film were indeed real. Deodato had to prove that the footage was fabricated by presenting the actors in the film as proof that CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST wasn't some sick snuff film. How many other films can lay claim to something that extreme? Not many that I can recall.

Honestly, CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is a film I don't want to recommend to those who haven't seen it due to its graphic nature. But I do think one should take the time out to check it out just once in order to understand the controversy behind it. While it's easy to focus on the extreme visuals of animal cruelty and the gore that put it on the Video Nasty list, there's something really intelligent about CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST. While I don't enjoy watching it, I do enjoy that it allows me to think about issues of morality and media sensationalism. CANNIBAL HOLOCAUST is definitely an extreme film and it was made to shock, but it's a lot deeper than that. And I believe that maybe it's worth investigating at least once in a lifetime to get the most out of the film.

- Freddie Young

My name is Fred, but they call me the Wolf. Love writing, watching films [especially horror], playing video games, listening to music, and just hanging out. Always been fascinated by films and pop culture for as long as I can remember. I want to be a screenwriter so I can help create a better Hollywood and stop this remake/spoof trend that the scene seems to be so involved in lately. Hopefully I can make it happen. But for now, I'm reviewing films and enjoying preaching the word on good and bad films.
Make sure to check out Full Moon Reviews for more of Fred's writing. 

Brobocop Gets In My Skin

In My Skin [Dans ma peau] (2002)
Writer and Director: Marina de Van
Starring: Marina de Van, Laurent Lucas, Lea Drucker

Esther and a friend go to a party and get their drink and groove on. Esther wanders off in the backyard and suffers a pretty nasty fall. She's all like “whatevs” and goes back inside to get some more dancing in. Eventually, she takes a trip to the bathroom where she realizes she's bleeding out of her leg like a stuck fucking pig. Shit, I guess the fall had something to do with it! Well, time to leave the party and go to the hospital. But not before stopping off to get a few more drinks first -if I'm being honest, that's probably exactly what I would do. Anyway, Doc patches her up and sends her on her way, but not before showing concern towards Esther's nonchalant attitude about her leg looking like fucking pizza. Esther becomes increasingly mesmerized with the boo-boo and starts playing poke with it like a lame friend on Facebook. Playful poking turns into less playful picking, then nasty gashing, then, well... shit gets fucked up on a MEGA scale.

Dear In My Skin:

Spoilers beneath the scabs. Pick with caution

When Tromeric let me know about Guts and Grog's Extreme Week, my first choice for what I wanted to cover was In My Skin. Of all the nasty, deplorable, skull fucking, animal murdering, kid torturing, tribal raping shit I could have went with, I chose a film about body horror. The reason being is that I feel somewhat drawn to the main character, Esther -played by writer/director, Marina de Van. Uh-oh, confession time. I am a scab picker. Wound ripper sounds much more badass, so that's what we will go with. I am a wound ripper. I know it's filthy, I know it's unhealthy, I know the wounds can get infected, I know it grosses my girlfriend the fuck out... hell, it grosses me the fuck out. And it hurts, but it “hurts so good”. John Mellencamp had the right idea; he was just singing about the wrong shit. Most of the time it's kind of a mindless thing, or something to do to pass the time. I don't feel like that's totally the issue with the lead in this film. But where me and Esther really separate is the whole self infliction of wounds and imbibing from them. I do not puncture myself, and I do not self consume. I'll pick a bug bite or a cut until it's destined to be a scar, but fuck being the harbinger of the injury, or a cannibal. I just like to keep the injuries going, for some dumb ass reason.

At face value, In My Skin may seem rather tame in comparison to a lot of other extreme films. I am here to assure you that it is not. It's actually quite a test to not wince out or turn your head more than a few times. Even when Esther is ripping her flesh off screen, her cold expressions and the sounds of tearing skin revs up the intensity to fucking overdrive. This is no picnic in the park or a Sunday visit to Grandma's, unless Grandma eats herself. Do you remember when undead Jack first goes to see David in the hospital in An American Werewolf in London? Sure you do. Do you remember that one jiggly piece of skin hanging from Jack's face that does a fucking dance whenever he talks? If that little piece of shit had a whole film dedicated to itself, it would be In My Skin.

There's some fantastic visuals, and they play alongside the deterioration of Esther's character perfectly. Creepy following shots and great 3rd person perspectives. Lots of closeups of Esther's face while she's committing these crimes to her body, and there's rarely any shying away when it comes time to show all the nasty shit going on. My favorite sequences are all the split cam shots that give a slightly different view of things. And the blur walking scene that comes late in the film -once Esther has really fell off the reality cliff- is incredible.

On the acting front, it's all about Marina de Van's execution, here. It's absolutely fascinating. Esther is a character whose life is slowly slipping through her fingers. She doesn't really feel the pain she's inflicting upon herself, just as she seemingly doesn't feel her detachment from everything going on around her. Is she aware of how far down the rabbit hole she has fallen? de Van kills in this role. As for everyone else, it's not an issue of anyone under performing; it's just not about anyone else. Laurent Lucas plays Vincent, Esther's boyfriend. He has more to do than any other secondary character, but I feel like it's just a display for what's going on with our leading lady. It's no doubt obvious that Vincent is worried for his girlfriend, but he often comes off as making it all about his and her relationship. Of course, he has good reason, because Esther surely gives no explanation as to why she's doing what she's doing. But equally for good reason on her end, as she simply seems to have no idea why. Again, back to de Van, she is just completely awesome in the role.

Now, onto the factor of why In My Skin is a prime candidate for Extreme Week- THE FUCKING GROSSNESS. This shit looks real, folks. So real that at times I feel the need to question if any of it is. It all starts with a pretty nasty leg wound, and as the film progresses, said nastiness just flies off the rails. However, sometimes it's not so much the visuals of the wounds, but rather how Esther treats her body. In a bathtub she stretches the skin in her pelvic region so far out that it looks like she's playing with a giant wad of goddamn bubblegum. For some reason, that scene is quite foul to me. But once we get to the areas where she starts tearing at herself and the way she pinches arm skin tight between her fingers, it's pretty damn stomach turning. But nothing, NOTHING is on par with the eating of herself in an almost orgasmic manner.

I don't have a whole lot to say about the soundtrack. It's in no way bad, it's just that a lot of it didn't stick out to me. The theme song kinda had a Radiohead Kid A likeness about it, so I was on board there. Actually, much of the music has a similar ambiance to said album. Like I said, not bad at all, but this is one of those films where the music doesn't really contribute to the atmosphere of the film.


Final Thoughts:
I'm not sure I would consider In My Skin underrated so much as just really under the radar. I rarely see it come up in conversation. It's a fantastically dirty ass little piece of French cinema. Sit down with a brew and take a gander, but leave your fucking wounds alone!


- Brobocop
I'm a kid stuck in the body of a 35 year old douche bag dude with giant tits. Sick jams, flicks, booze and weed... that's all the fucks that Brobocop needs! 

VonKlingele Kustoms Cannibal Holocaust Action Figure Contest

What do I really need to say? You need this. Leave a comment with your favorite thing about, or part of Cannibal Holocaust, and at the end of the week I will pick a random winner. Thanks to Jacob VonKlingele for offering up such a badass piece for Extreme Week. Gonna be hard to give this one away.


Jacob lives in Washington State with his wife Alisha VonKlingele, and their two two demon spawn(the good kind of demon). He plays with their toys more than they do. Sometimes contributor to the grog as well as building  fucktons of custom action figures. You can check out some of his work over at VonKlingele Kustoms. 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Win a Copy of D.O.A. II

Wanna win a copy of this beauty right here from Blood Bound Books? Of course you do. Click this link and read all about it and Extreme Horror Fiction as told by the mad genius from Tavern of Terror.  Then come back to this post and leave a comment telling your favorite extreme horror book, or just horror book in general. You will also have to like the Blood Bound Books Facebook page. At the end of the week a winner will be randomly picked. Get on this. If you're not the winner make sure to seek this out anyways, it is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kindle, and Nook.

Maynard's Irreversible

Original Title:

German Title:
France, 2002
Director: Gaspar Noé

Ending credits. Reversed. No first names. Only surnames.
Various letters mirror-inverted.
Slowly rolling down. Slowly sloping. Slowly moving across the screen.
An image of a man sitting in a bed, tumbling.
Then, a fanfare. Large drums. Names appear. Titles. Words. All glimmering.
White. Yellow.


That's how it begins. Gaspar Noé's uncompromising "Irréversible", one of the most scandalous, most discussed European films of the last 20 years. Newsweek called it "the most walked-out movie of 2003". Roger Ebert called it "a movie so violent and cruel, most people will find it unwatchable" (though he still gave it a 3/4).
To all the people who haven't seen it yet: yes, it is that brutal. And vile. And mean. And disturbing. And fucking gruesome. But at the same time, it's beautiful, it's mesmerizing, it's fascinating and it's fucking impressive. "Irréversible" is a movie as powerful as a battering ram or a steam hammer. No matter if you like or dislike what you see, it will hit you like a brick in the face, no doubt.


13 scenes, presented in reverse chronological order - and no, this is definitely not "Memento". It's the story of Alex (Monica Bellucci), her boyfriend Marcus (Vincent Cassel) and her ex Pierre (Albert Dupontel). On her way home after a party, Alex gets brutally raped and abused in an underpass by a brutal pimp called "Le Tenia" (=The Tapeworm). Marcus and Pierre seek for revenge and rampage through the city until they land in a gay BDSM club called "Rectum".
There, the situation escalates...

"Irréversible" starts out harsh and brute, but ends up sweet and almost heartwarming. No kidding. The first 53 minutes are filled with disturbing, disgusting brutality. The remaining 40 minutes consist of long, amusing dialogue, scenes at a rambunctious party and some really touching intimate moments.
It's a bit like
"Straw Dogs", but in reverse.


The violence is breathtaking. Not pleasant, but striking and powerful. There's the one scene where Marcus rushes through the "Rectum", a kaleidoscope of dark and confusing corridors, passing by people performing all kinds of sexual acts (fucking, blowjob, fisting, masturbating...), until he finds a man who could be Le Tenia, but actually isn't. A dispute, fistfight, a broken arm, attempted anal rape... and then it happens: the infamous fire extinguisher scene, the single most gruesome scenes I've ever, EVER seen. Never has a smashed face in a movied looked so real.


The other infamous scene is even more infamous, and in some kinda of way even more gruesome: the rape scene in the passage. For about 12 minutes we get to see Monica Bellucci getting vulgarly insulted, anally raped, kicked in her face, beaten in her face, her head pounded on the floor. It's highly unpleasant and very hard to watch. Every second of that scene hurts.
At one point, we see a man entering the scene, seeing the rape, quickly leaving the scene. That's director
Gaspar Noé and his very special kind of humor ;)

The camera swirls and whirls around, trippy, disorienting, almost sickening, all accompanied by the hypnotic beats and baffling synths by Thomas Bangalter (one half of Daft Punk). There's Chinese cab drivers and Spanish ladyboys, Bellucci and Cassel spitting in each other's faces, posters of Captain Marvel and Kubrick's "2001", and the fantastic Philippe Nahon ("I Stand Alone", "High Tension", "The Pack"), saying "Le temps détruit tout" = "Time destroys everything." - not only the very first sentence in the movie, but also the basic plot in a nutshell.
Oh, I forgot to mention the ending scene which could be described as a video-camera on an epic, cosmic trip, accompanied by the orgasmic
"Symphony No7" by Ludwig van Beethoven.


Good? Bad? Masterpiece? Rubbish? Who cares?
One thing is for sure: you can't un-see "Irréversible". It's impossible...
and irreversible.
Wiki ~ Imdb

Maynard is a  huge Fan of Morrissey, Bret Easton Ellis, Maynard James Keenan and Horror Movies. Make sure to check out his page Horror Movie Diary here.

NO SAFE WORD The Shocking Power Of Extreme Horror Fiction

Horror is defined by the heart of its audience.

What makes one person shudder may bore another, more jaded observer.

As a hardcore horror fanatic, I have encounter many occasions where I am not only bored by some of the genre’s efforts but also baffled by their popularity. For example, I cannot understand the appeal of the Paranormal Activity films. They rely on jolt scares and I find it to be lazy writing. However, a lot of people find these flicks terrifying. I also remember thinking, at age seventeen, that Angel Heart was one of the scariest films I had ever seen (and I still stand by that). I told all of my teenaged buddies to watch it, insisting it would keep them up nights. After watching it, they thought I was an imbecile for deeming it remotely scary. I realized then that they wanted zombies, chainsaws and special effects, not morbid detective noir. But more importantly it was visceral horror that interested them, not cerebral. That same year I was thunderstruck by In the Mouth of Madness while they all hailed Demon Knight instead. Both are great genre films, but both are vastly different.
 As I grew into a horror fiend I began to see patterns in tales of terror and began to predict the course of most horror films and stories. You can’t endure thousands of them without this happening. It isn’t a condemnation of the works, but rather a testament to the power of the human mind. Even books, which are always far less routine than films, began to lack surprise for me and the absence of suspense made the elements of horror fail to horrify a seasoned genre veteran like myself. I kept looking for newer, wilder mold breakers. I went from Stephen King to Clive Barker, then from Barker to classic Richard Matheson, then from Matheson to a wide variety of talented authors: Rex Miller, Tim Lebbon, Ramsey Campbell and more.
 After burning through all the high art of these craftsmen, I found myself adrift in a sea of mediocre genre fluff. By my mid-twenties I felt burnt out and hungry for something fresh as a kill. While I loved all the classics I’d treasured over the years, I had gotten so tired of going to the bookstore and picking up one new horror novel after another, each of them always having a scary looking house on the cover, and all of them delivering zero chills. Some were trash – but others were indeed well written and thought out, and were compelling enough to keep me reading through to the end, but they just didn’t scare me.
I began wonder when horror stopped being horrifying.
Thankfully, that is when I first discovered Jack Ketchum.
My girlfriend at the time worked at a bookstore. When big publishing houses send bookstores books that fail to sell, the store mails back the covers of the books and gets full credit to their account. However, they don’t want the whole books back, because of the shipping cost. So my girlfriend would bring home piles of books with no front cover.
One day she brought me a copy of Jack Ketchum’s Red, based upon what the back cover described. I’ve always been a big western fan. I love Charles Bronson and Clint Eastwood. So she thought I would enjoy this book about an old man seeking justice on the young punks who killed his dog.
And boy was she right.
Not only is Red an emotionally charged story of violent revenge, loyalty and perseverance - it is also a very well written piece of fiction. While not a horror novel, its boil-building plot seized me with a page-turning suspense, the very feeling of dreadful anticipation that had been so painfully absent in the horror schlock I’d been reading.
I looked into Ketchum who, though a genre heavyweight now, was an obscure horror author back in the early 2000’s. But of what little I could find about him online, there was one book of his that I knew I had to track down.
Readers and critics alike where very black and white about Ketchum’s notorious horror novel Off Season, and remain so to this day. People either see it as a ghastly, perverted, incorrigible pile of filth or they think it is one of the most brilliant and intense horror novels ever written - much as I do.
Telling the simple story of group of friends vacationing in rural Maine only to be attacked by a pack of wild cannibals, Off Season is survival horror at its finest. It is also so graphic and relentless in its brutality that calling it just a horror story would not give the reader fair enough warning.
This was my introduction to extreme horror.

This sub-genre is reserved for books and films that break taboos and delve into the unmentionable and the inhumane with unapologetic force.  Even the most jaded horror fan can expect to be disgusted or offended. Shocking movies such as A Serbian Film, Nekromantik, Header, and The Burning Moon find themselves being banned in certain countries or being heavily edited for their release. Women’s groups vehemently attack books like American Psycho and the extreme works of horror author Edward Lee are often refereed to as mindless, gory sleaze.
But while some extreme horror is just gross for the sake of gross, and while much of it delves too deep into brainless torture scenarios, the genre can equally create simultaneous sensations of repulsion and mind-bending fear, and therein lies its power.
Think of some of the ghastliest moments in Se7en or Silence of the Lambs. These moments, though twisted and vile, were also part of a bigger whole – that whole being a masterpiece of modern horror.
For an author to not self-censor, and to expose the darkest corners of their imagination, can be the passport to new dimensions of horror storytelling. If the extremity is used correctly, as part of wider story arch and not just focused upon for its own sake, the overall effect can be staggering.
Hence the growing popularity of the before mentioned horror author,  Edward Lee.
Lee has a lot of stellar mainstream horror fiction, such as his gripping Infernal series and his Lovecraftian works such as The Dunwhich Romance and The Innswich Horror.  But lurking amidst his more mass friendly terrors are his underground novellas and collections, published on the outskirts, which seep with disturbing delights.

Books like Goon, Bullet Through Your Face and Brain Cheese Buffet are perfect examples of Lee’s spectacular skill at concocting the extreme. Brain Cheese Buffet was an awakening for me into a new world of horror fiction as foul as it was ingenious. The opening story, Mr. Torso, is one of the most haunting pieces of horror fiction my brain has ever been invaded by, and even though it falls into the forbidden extreme horror zone it still snagged the author a much deserved Stoker nomination. Additional stories in this vile volume include the utterly revolting The Dritiphilist and the uber-twisted The McCrath Model ss40-C, Series S. I encourage all true horror fans to seek out this paperback, but I am warning you right now that they will really test you.
You know that feeling you get when you watch a movie like Maniac? You like the movie but at the same time you don’t want anyone to walk in on you watching it? You kinda need a shower afterwards too, right? Welcome to every page of reading Brain Cheese Buffet. Put it in your safety deposit box when family visits, least they haul you off to a rubber room.
As a horror writer myself, I marvel at the talent and bravery of Lee and Ketchum for pushing a difficult and even unpopular sub-genre at the risk of damaging their writing careers. I’m so glad that it has all worked out in their favor too, and that the true horror fans came out to place their work on pedestals where they belong. Ketchum is so revered now by horror fans that when a movie is made out of his work, his name appears at the top instead of the director’s (such as in the movie Jack Ketchum’s The Girl Next Door.)
This opened the floodgates for extreme horror fiction and films, which have been catching on more and more. As our genre floats in a sea of banal, big budget remakes,  the indie horror scene, as well as the foreign markets, have been exploding with extreme films like Dead Girl, The Loved Ones, Inside, I Saw the Devil and Martyrs – movies that are not only extreme, but are some of the best horror films out there today. 

In addition, newcomer authors feel less confined to old industry standards, so instead of just a sea of ghost novels with those scary house covers, there is also a world of small presses pumping out stellar, underground splatterpunk and high tension terror, such as Deadite Press, Dark Moon Books, Post Mortem Press, and many more. Magazines and anthologies are popping up offering a printed page home for horror writers like myself.
This month brings forth such an anthology that I am incredibly proud to be a part of, and puts my work in the company of some of these personal writing heroes.

D.O.A II is the sequel to Blood Bound Book’s popular extreme horror anthology D.O.A. This is the sort of mind-raping, stomach-pumping horror that I’ve been speaking of here. Along with one of my nasty short stories, this gruesome volume also contains some mean entries from Jack Ketchum, Wrath James White, J. F. Gonzalez, Robert Devereaux and many more.

In 2008, I met Jack Ketchum at a horror con and got him to sign a copy of his rare novella The Crossings for me. Now it is 2013 and I’m in a book with him! I’m sure you can appreciate the excitement this gives me, and I hope that after reading this article on extreme horror fiction that you’re all excited to check out this gnarly collection of carnage. And if you need a little more convincing about the book’s quality, just check out this blurb we got from the godfather of gore himself:

"Make sure your health insurance covers psychiatric counseling before reading this book, because you’re gonna need it. The experience of this collection may be likened to getting run over by a 666-car locomotive engineered by Lucifer. This is the cream of grotesquerie’s crop, a Whitman’s Sampler of the heinous, and an absolutely gut-wrenching celebration of the furthest extremities of the scatological, the taboo, the unconscionable, and the blasphemous.”


If we’re extreme enough for Edward Lee, then I’m one happy contributor indeed, and if you’re a horrorfiend hungry for newer, vivid abominations, I think I’ve given you plenty to go on. Just beware, the extreme horror writers are coming for you next, and there is no safe word.  

  • Kristoher Triana
  • (aka Koyote the Bartender at

    Koyote runs Tavern of Terror where you can find cool liquor and cult horror. It is the horror bar that reviews scary movies and suggests what alcohol to enjoy with them.