Captain Spaulding's Cinematic Gutter

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Time to get The Gutter flowing again. Unfortunately, I don't have any new reviews to share, so the next several updates are going to be renovated re-posts of old write-ups I've posted elsewhere on the forum that fit the themes of this thread. Take off your pants and read along.
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Slave of the Cannibal God
(Sergio Martino, 1978)



I'm quite fond of these cannibal exploitation films. They combine Indiana Jones-style adventure with sleaze and gore and male castrations. Slave of the Cannibal God (also known as The Mountain of the Cannibal God) isn't as hardcore as later entries in the sub-genre, like Cannibal Ferox or Cannibal Holocaust (possibly my favorite horror film of all-time), but it's still brutal, nasty and perverse.

Most people condemn these cannibal films for containing real-life animal killings. Those particular scenes might be hard to stomach, but, in my opinion, they add to the effectiveness of the horror. I think that when you've seen real deaths occur on screen, it temporarily tricks the mind into thinking that the actors themselves are in danger, that the stakes are for real. With the exception of an iguana that's gutted and eaten, most of the animal killings in Slave of the Cannibal God are a result of other animals, even if it's obvious that the animals were pitted against each other by the crew. For instance, in one scene, a monkey is thrust into the mouth of a python. The helpless, resigned look in the monkey's eyes as its skull is slowly crushed by the snake's jaws is by far the most haunting moment in the film.

Cannibals don't appear until deep into the run-time. That might be a detriment to some viewers, but I enjoyed the journey along the way. Slave of the Cannibal God is just as much about man vs. nature as it is man vs. flesh-eaters. I love how the jungle essentially becomes its own character in these cannibal films. The exotic locales add an authenticity that can mask the flat acting or poor dubbing or whatever other flaws typically come with the sub-genre. Stacy Keach gives a better-than-usual performance for an exploitation film. Former Bond girl Ursula Andress is her usual bland self, but she seems undaunted by the physical challenges required of the role, so kudos to her for that. The gore is excellent.

Compared to its cannibal peers, Slave of the Cannibal God is relatively tame, but it more than makes up for it with an insane climax that threatens to overwhelm viewers with bizarre, perverse imagery. There's an extended sequence of topless tribeswomen rubbing an orange goo all over Ursula's naked body as part of some weird, pre-ritual foreplay. A long, lingering shot of a woman finger-banging her pubic jungle. A severed penis. Disembowelment. Cave orgies. A deranged cannibal midget. Then one of the most memorable images I've seen in awhile: a tribesman raping a giant pig. It was at that moment that the film officially won me over.






You're like a Rob Zombie-meets-Colonel Walter Kurtz knockoutcombo, that finally hit me




Then one of the most memorable images I've seen in awhile: a tribesman raping a giant pig. It was at that moment that the film officially won me over.
I think I have Slave of the Cannibal God somewhere but I haven't watched it. Maybe I have to correct the situation soon for that scene alone
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You're like a Rob Zombie-meets-Colonel Walter Kurtz knockoutcombo, that finally hit me

"I've seen horrors... horrors that you've seen. But you have no right to call me a Rob Zombie-meets-Colonel Walter Kurtz. You have a right to +rep me. You have a right to do that... but you have no right to judge me. It's impossible for words to describe what is necessary to those who do not know what horror means. Horror... Horror has a clown face ... and you must make a friend of horror, and buy the fried chicken it sells out of a gas station. Horror and moral terror are your friends. If they are not, then they are enemies to be feared. They are truly enemies! Tutti-f**kin'-Frutti!"





Merantau
(Gareth Evans, 2009)



I enjoyed The Raid a lot, but its sequel was a kinetic, ass-kicking masterpiece that left me panting for more and kick-started my interest in martial-arts films. Merantau is basically The Raid-lite: same director, same leading man, same fighting style. Iko Uwais isn't playing Rama from The Raid, but it's still easy to view Merantau as a spiritual prequel. The thin story takes awhile to develop. A young martial-arts expert moves from the village to the city, sees corruption, develops a relationship with a young woman and her little brother, incurs the wrath of a crime boss, then proceeds to beat the living hell out of countless goons. It's basically a live-action version of the side-scrolling beat-'em-ups I used to play on Super Nintendo and Sega Genesis. I mean that as a good thing.

The fight choreography isn't as jaw-dropping as it would become in The Raid and The Raid 2, but the fight scenes are still fantastic -- especially a showdown in an elevator involving Yayan Ruhian (another familiar face from The Raid movies) and a climactic battle in a shipping dock that's drenched in reds so heavy it would give Nicolas Winding Refn a hard-on. Unfortunately, there are also plenty of flaws. Some of the wire work is too noticeable. The extreme juxtaposition between the protagonist's idyllic village and the corrupt city is cartoonishly extreme. The bookends are overly sentimental.

In The Raid 2, before all hell would break loose, director Gareth Edwards would slow things down, allowing the tension to swell through pregnant pauses. Each fight was like watching an action movie version of a spaghetti western duel. That tactic is mostly absent in Merantau, so fight scenes don't have that extra oomph. Still, this is an exciting martial-arts film and highly recommended for fans of The Raid and The Raid 2. Just temper expectations.









Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
(Fred Olen Ray, 1988)



Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers opens with a disclaimer about how the chainsaws used in the picture are "real and dangerous," while also advising viewers not to try any of the stunts at home, "especially if you are naked and about to engage in strenuous sex," so it's immediately clear that the film is in on its own joke, which the hammy performances, ridiculous script and self-aware dialogue further demonstrate as the film moves along during its swift 75-minute run-time.

I wish there had been more Hollywood hookers hooking and chainsawing in place of the private dick dicking around and pretending to be Sam Spade. The few scenes of chainsaw mutilation are pretty comical, with crew members obviously standing off-screen throwing buckets of blood and fake body parts at the actresses. Every chick gets naked at some point, and since it's the late 80's, they all look like they just wandered off the set of a Motley Crue music video.

Leatherface himself, Gunnar Hansen, plays the leader of a chainsaw-worshiping cult, which is genius casting. Scream Queen Linnea Quigley also provides a bit of B-movie star power as a runaway turned stripper turned chainsaw cultist, and in the climax of the film she engages in a chainsaw cat fight, which sounds amazing in theory but is pretty lame in execution. That basically sums up the movie itself, which is only marginally entertaining in a dumb, juvenile sorta way, but never as fun as one would hope based on the title and premise.





Glad you enjoyed Merantau to an extent, not seen t'other one.
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Hollywood Chainsaw Hookers
(Fred Olen Ray, 1988)
Never heard of this but the title and poster has me intrigued, despite your low rating.





Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS
(Don Edmonds, 1975)



Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, my first foray into the swastika-wearing section of grindhouse cinema, definitely lives up to its notorious billing. There's an assembly line of butts, boobs and pubic bushes to go along with golden showers and syphilitic injections. Not to mention various methods of sadistic torture and more sex than a late-night skin flick. Throw in some genital mutilation, a little bit of electrode penetration, a few withheld ejaculations, and what we've got here is a glorious slice of exploitation at its sleaziest, smuttiest, trashiest, most tasteless, morally-debased finest.

What's most surprising, however, is that Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is surprisingly feminist. Dyanne Thorne, the bad-ass bitch with mountainous breasts and an unquenchable sexual appetite, essentially spends the majority of the film reaming chauvinistic attitudes with a 12-inch strap-on (in a metaphorical sense) while literally chopping off penises and pissing on her commanding officers. In various experiments she also proves that women are more capable than men at withstanding extraordinary levels of pain. Too bad the feminist angle is almost entirely undone by the lone American who defeats her with his sexual prowess. (That's right -- we Americans are capable of conquering Nazism with our red, white and blue balls. Heil Schlong!)

The novelty of this being my first Nazisploitation film probably kept the cycle of sex and torture from feeling overly repetitive. The gore is disturbing despite the many appearances of bright red paint. The accents are awful but hilarious. The final act features some decent action. And I'm pretty sure everything that happens in the film is 100% historically accurate. Schindler's List pales in comparison to this fine piece of art.






That write-up for Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS is 2-3 years old, and I think it's still the only true Nazisploitation film I've seen. Would love to hear if anyone has any other recommendations for the genre. Also curious if the other Ilsa sequels are on par with the first film since I never hear anything about them.



The only other Nazispoitation I can remember watching is The Beast in Heat aka SS Hell Camp. Ilsa is a masterpiece compared to that one (thank you Dyanne). While there are similarities, mostly the savage female officer and her sexual torture devices, Beast in heat is a much uglier movie. It's been a long time since I've seen it but from what I remember the female officer has a manlike "monster" (it's just a really ugly dude) which she keeps caged up, gets it extremely horny (Beast in Heat), then lets it have its way with the prisoners all for the enjoyment of the Nazi officers. Not much of a recommendation but it's usually mentioned as one of the "classics" in the genre. Ladies and gentlemen... THE BEAST



Speaking of Ilsa back in my teen years I had a good quality VHS copy. I loaned it to couple of friends and one them showed few minutes of it during his high school presentation about the concentration camps (I'm pretty sure it was the boiling scene and the pressure chamber scene). Some nice high school memories

I've seen the first sequel Ilsa, Harem Keeper of the Oil Sheiks too and while I don't remember too much of it I have an impression that it was much lighter in tone. Almost a comedy at times, maybe.



The only other Nazispoitation I can remember watching is The Beast in Heat aka SS Hell Camp. Ilsa is a masterpiece compared to that one (thank you Dyanne). While there are similarities, mostly the savage female officer and her sexual torture devices, Beast in heat is a much uglier movie. It's been a long time since I've seen it but from what I remember the female officer has a manlike "monster" (it's just a really ugly dude) which she keeps caged up, gets it extremely horny (Beast in Heat), then lets it have its way with the prisoners all for the enjoyment of the Nazi officers. Not much of a recommendation but it's usually mentioned as one of the "classics" in the genre. Ladies and gentlemen... THE BEAST


I remember stumbling across the full film on YouTube. Saved it to watch later but when I returned the film had sadly been removed. Had forgotten all about it until your post. The few bits and pieces I watched were pretty wild.



I think I have Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS somewhere around here, and it's always been high on my watchlist when it comes to exploitation cinema.



A very different kind of Nazispoitation but the proper Inglorious Bastards is something I'd recommend. Especially if you like The Dirty Dozen.

Love Camp 7, SS Experiment Camp and The Gestapo's Last Orgy are the famous ones, but I think Ilsa is the king (or queen) of the genre. Not that it's a genre that I really like too much.



Ilsa: She Wolf Of The SS is part of the Ilsa Trilogy, I see... comprised of that one, Ilsa: Harem Keeper Of The Oil Sheiks (1976), and Ilsa: The Tigress Of Siberia (1977). The ghastly and seductive Dyanne Thorne version of history. And she was in a lot more too. I've not actually watched her films, yet seems #WorthIt