OnePlusYou Quizzes and Widgets


Aftermath (1994)

A heart beating. A woman screaming. Blood.

Such ends the life of a young woman. A young woman we shall get to know well.

There's no dialogue - not just hardly any dialogue, as in Trouble Every Day, but literally no dialogue whatsoever. No single word is uttered throughout the whole movie. Blessed silence, leaving us to Sound and Sight... and Imagination.

Suffice it to say, this is not a movie for the faint of heart. If you like sick underground flicks like that, prepare for a mercilessly beautiful movie - achingly beautiful in its simplicity and exposé. If you don't like "sick" movies... I suggest you find something else to watch together with your bunch of friends on your birthday party.

Aftermath is a brilliant movie that deserves to be seen by a wider audience. Granted, today's audience is made up of kids who would screetch around... but still. I totally approve of this movie. One of my favourites.

11/10 pieces of cloth used for brain tissue.

Midnight Meat Train (2008)

The most terrifying ride you'll ever take.


It's the third time that I'm trying to watch this movie. Not that that's got to say anything about its quality - it just says that I have not been able to keep up enough suspense from the beginning to the end to actually *watch* this movie, instead of having a pleasang look at it from the corner of the eye.

The Midnight Meat Train is one of those movies that I never had high hopes resp. expectations for. I read the original story by Clive Barker (one of the better ones in his Books of Blood), and I have to admit that I liked it. No story I like can turn out good on screen... and Midnight Meat Train proves that once again.

I had high hopes for it, and if it had come to the big screen in Vienna, I'd have seen it - so apparently we either didn't get it or I missed it. Both valid possibilities.

Anyways... Midnight Meat Train. In the story, a photographer discovers gruesome evidence of one of the underground trains of New York going... somewhere. Somewhere else. And that somewhere else includes a butcher selecting clean meat for Them... and Them. It's a delicious story that opens up some questions about Clive Barker's universe and an intriguing read.

The movie... yeah.

The main protagonist plus his handful of friends are sympathetic enough, but at the same time exchangable.

At 0:19:25 we get Ted Raimi! Automatic +1 for the movie. I heart Ted Raimi. He has less than a minute to live. 49 seconds, to be exact. I love his character. Just as I love any of his short-lived cameos.

So... movie. Plot. Photographer who needs to make better pictures in order to secure money happens upon a mysterious guy in a suit, who apparently works at night until the morning comes. Fascinated for some obscure reason, the photographer starts following the man. He arrives in a meat packing plant on his heels of his mysterious quarry.

He also manages to take some pictures of Nyarlathotep the Younger*.

Who is waiting... waiting for something (the Butcher, not Nyarlathotep the Younger... or maybe he is? Or isn't? You decide...).

Or someone?

But a security guard stops him from entering the same train as the man he'd been following.


Our butcher has a problem (a quite unsavoury one at that) which makes him slower - worse - at his job: Procuring meat.

Human meat.

Our photographer starts to freak out a little bit when it seems that the people involved in the subway are also involved in unsolved abduction cases along the subway line... and of course, this doesn't go without consequences. Our vegetarian suddenly discovers the joys of meat (steak, to be precise), but things go downhill with his girlfriend. She thinks he's obsessing too much about the whole stuff with the missing persons and the butcher. After an argument, he agrees... only to follow the butcher the very same night

He sees his work. And the butcher sees him.

After what may or may be not a dream sequence, our photographer finds himself ...marked.

He tells his wife, but she doesn't believe him. He seems crazy to her, and she's scared - of him and of what might happen. That night, they try to break into the butcher's room at a hotel. There, they find various torture instruments.

I've always dreamt of one of these...

Anyways, jealousy on my part aside, the movie certainly is interesting. I guess that if the viewer is not familiar with Clive Barker's story, Midnight Meat Train can be an actually engaging film with an interesting storyline which is not quite as predictable as others within the genre. As with the original story, there are hints of something Greater beneath the streets and bowels of New York, the epitome of the City as a living hive.

I'd hit it. Quite literally. Possibly with the hook. *toothy grin*

I like to think of them as ghouls. Yeah, blame me for my impertinence.

I liked that they kept some of the details of the story. As in, really, really liked it. Overall, a surprisingly good adaption of the short story, and an entertaining movie in itself.

...9/10 sterilised meathooks

* See my Hellraiser review.

Mind Ripper aka The Outpost aka The Hills Have Eyes III (1995)

The Government Created Him. Now They Must Destroy Him.

Yay! Thanks to the fine folks over at Bloody Disgusting, I can finally watch the movie I've always wanted to watch again since I first caught it on TV about 12 years ago. This piece of work is called Mind Ripper aka The Outpost aka The Hillls Have Eyes III. It fails as an installment of The Hills Have Eyes, it fails as a Wes Craven output (then again, what were we expecting - he is only ....."presenting" the thing)... but it works as a nifteh, funny movie that I am deeply nostalgic for.

A group of three (3) scientists find a wounded young man in the middle of the American desert (well... some American desert). They inject him with a curious, uhm, injection - and soon after, the doctor who developed the. uhm, injected stuff leaves the project, as he is not okay with the way the other scientists are treating the subject.

Funnily enough, as coincidences go, on the day of leaving for his holidays with his family, the good doctor receives a phone call informing him about difficulties with the subject... his former subject.

Luckily, the movie is fast: 20 minutes into the movie, we already get our explanation for what what happened when. The military tried, as usual, to create a super-human soldier* by means of scientists**. Actually, they injected the guy they found with some sort of virus... which is now running wild in the subject, changing and transforming him.

...into something that leaves eyes behind.

In the meantime, we get some characterisation through father-son-interaction. Teenagers were allowed to smoke back then, and parents were allowed to get a little louder with their kids.

Cut to annoying daughter of scientist with her even more stupid and annoying boyfriend. "I want to pleasure you forever..." - we all know where that leads ***

For some reason I cannot fathom yet, the dysfunctional semi-family is heading towards the military headquarters - in which the three scientist/military-guys (and gal) are making a desperate run from something they can't understand. Whilst the family is happily walking into the former nuclear testing facility.

A former nuclear testing facility owned by some nice company named GenTec. I tend to inherently trust companies with names like GenTec. They can only have the best of humanity on their minds, surely? They wouldn't ever give in to scientific curiousity... or lucrative offers of high sums of money for more practical experiments. Surely not.

Gods, watching this movie is a pure delight. The camera is at times abysmally bad, very simple and... uhm... old. It's a cheap 90s B-movie in the tradition of 80s B-movies. It screams DTV-release with every fibre of its being. But I love it dearly. I just liked it when I accidentally caught it on TV more than a decade ago, and occasionally remembered it fondly. But now, I love it.

This is happening to the infected man's mouth, for example. In case you can't realise what it is, it's a tooth/claw at the end of a long, tentacle-like, penis-like thing that the mutated soldier can shoot out of his mouth - to feed on other people's "minds" (we freely assume he includes "brains" in that rather broad and metaphysical concept).

They also had computers back in those days when I was but a wee little babe.

Inevitably, the group splits up, because, you know, you're safer in small, uncoordinated groups when in some creepy, apparently deserted surroundings that shouldn't be deserted.

At the beginning of the third act, we get the explanation for all the weird stuff that has been going on on the defunct military base.

The thing that makes this movie special is the mutant/monster - "Thor" (TransHuman Organism). He has a background story, he even has character and a personality. He is changing, and he doesn't know what is changing in him or into what he is changing... and it causes him pain. We get a little twist here, one that makes Thor even more tragic than he already is... and then he loses himself in desperate rage.

Cut to our rag-tag group of heroes, off to save the day. With brains. Because they figured out that our anti-hero needs brains... or rather, certain parts of them.

We get some 15 minutes of filler "plot" (brother-sister-bonding, talks about dad, a useless dream sequence, drama, guilt etc.) before things really start again. Our refugees need to find the kids' father's hand, because only his hand is authorised for the main door (?)

One thing: This movie has far too many survivors. Far. Too. Many. Survivors. On the other hand, it has a nifteh monster that I've liked for the past 12 years.

Plus, I approve of monster-rape (one of the reasons why Evil Dead is such an endearing movie).

I mean... this movie just has it all. A nifty monster with character background, Lance Henriksen, death by monster, death by electricity, 80s visions of computers... far too many survivors... Still, a mightily entertaining flick. And I don't just say that out of pure nostalgia. I actually enjoyed watching this flick, even though the death-count is below acceptable.

6.75/10 sudden onsets of baldness. I love this movie.

*Black Science. Remember?

** Scientists are always working for governments and secret organisations and believe in Evil(TM).

*** Tcha. Better luck next time, mate. We got fooled with that.


Bleeders aka Hemoglobin (1997)

Ah... H.P. Lovecraft.

I admit it, I am easy to please in some regards. Movies based on stories by HPL are one such thing. No matter how abysmally bad it is, I will see it and to some degree enjoy it. Bleeders aka Hemoglobin is based on the story "The Lurking Fear"... and indeed, it's not entirely off the mark.

The movie explains to us that there was a Dutch countess, Eva van Dam, who was of such a narcissistic nature that she only wished to make love to herself. Failing to be able to do that, she settled for the closest other thing: Her twin brother. And so, a love-story, fairy-tale and horrific dystopia began, lasting for hundreds of years...

Hemoglobin wants us to say hello to our main protagonist: John Strauss (as played by Roy Dupuis). He is pale, has lips that are a little bit too red, his eyes are of two different colours, he can't stand the sun for too long, he can't eat most foods, is always tired during the day, suffers from spontaneous nosebleeds and seizures as well as cramps, spasms and blackouts. It's clear from the beginning that he's not a healthy man.

Thing is, John Strauss is suffering from something that appears to be an incredibly rare genetic disease. John and his wife are traveling to an island from which John's ancestors possibly came from. There, they find some Dr. Marlowe (Rutger Hauer!)... and Dr. Marlowe doesn't come as the bearer of good news. Whilst he is examining the strange young man, the inhabitants of the island are exhuming coffins in the local burial ground - something there seems to be wrong with the ground, and they want to preserve the dead.

John and his wife (can't bother to look up the name right now) get a room at the local hotel. John has it bad - he can't stomach food, and even the mild light of dusk is too bright for his eyes. Walking around, they (well, mostly she) ask about the Strauss family - but to no avail. The people in this village aren't really willing to talk to people from outside the island.

[Insert sub-plot about necklace and burial and grave-robbery here]

Whilst John is falling asleep, his wife is visiting Dr. Marlowe, asking him if he thinks that what John has is hereditary. Dr. Marlowe mentions the Van Dams and their inbreeding habits - and shows her one of the Van Dam children.

Yes, that's formaldehyde.

Meanwhile, John is having flashbacks to... something. Somewhen. Disturbing images.

And he's hungry...

...it's night outside. And the gravedigger's daughter is out. Out in the graveyard...

It's a bit hard to type with that buzzing rhythm pulsing uncomfortably in my right side, so please bear with me. They travel to the Van Dam estate - it is empty now, as the last Van Dams died in a fire 75 years ago. An old woman is supposed to live up there, a nurse who might know more about John's disease.

Meanwhile, Dr. Marlowe is trying to make sense of John's test results, as he gets interrupted - by someone carrying the mauled body of a ...humanoid creature with him. Examining it further, the good Doctor ascertains that it appears to be human, but a hermaphrodite - a fully functional hermaphrodite, capable of replicating with itself.

Cut to John Strauss. He and his wife are surprised by an old woman who seems to recognise John. Further identification ensues, and the old woman tells him that he was the only surviving member of the Van Dam family, saved from the fire. When the talk turns to the desires and Cravings he feels, and he admit that he suffers from them but does not know what they are about, the old woman retreats fearfully, threatening both him and his wife and driving them away. Reluctantly, they leave.

In the meantime, we get one (1) child dragged into the ground through a hole.

Returning in fury, John demands of the old woman to know the truth - she couldn't have saved him from the fire because he wasn't 75 years old. It was his right to know the truth.

...and she shows him...

And the truth is... not all of the Van Dams are dead.

As a storm approaches mercilessly, the small island slowly descends into terror. John is sick and hardly able to move on his own; dark rain is cutting into the people's faces, thunder deafens human ears... and somewhere, something is crawling. Eating. Breeding. Feeding.

Dr. Marlowe discovers a group of... humanoids. Things. Mutated monstrosities of centuries of inbreeding... deformities feeding on corpses. It's the remaining family members of the Van Dams... apparently, they had been tunnelling underneath the cemetery for centuries since they disappeared from the eye of the public, feeding on corpses for generations - necrophagia and anthropophagia in general (but mostly necrophagia). Them lucky ghouls*.

Formulating an answer to John's problem in his mind, Marlowe talks to him and his wife, leaving a jar. With a Van Dam embryo in it. For John to feed on it.

After devouring the fetus, John is filled with vigour, life and power.

Then some other stuff happens. It involves a lot of screaming, hysterical people, deformed monstrosities, light, darkness, psychological terror, ...

...and then my favourite scene EVER.


And no, I won't tell you about it (actually, it's two scenes, but what the heck).

Bleeders aka Hemoglobin is a very atmospheric movie; a friend of mine called it "dreamy", and I think that's a word that can be employed with a good conscience when talking about this movie. It has a dream-like quality - much more so than the short story "The Lurking Fear" upon which this movie was loosely based.

If you like Lovecraftian inbreeding stories, then you should enjoy Bleeders a lot. And if you like slightly weird, character-centered movies, you should give it a go as well. I would recommend it to the vampires-crowd, but Hemoglobin isn't pretty and shiny enough for that. And I'm perfectly fine with that. Ghouls have rights, too**.

Rutger Hauer's performance is not as great as it could have been, but then again, I compare each of his performances with The Hitcher... so he naturally pales in comparison to his old self. Roy Dupuis has some really fine moments in the second act of the movie - when the film starts, I sometimes wanted to bitchslap him for being artificial, but during the second act, everything he did became fluent and natural. I now wonder if I haven't been a bit too harsh, for maybe the artificiality of the character of John Strauss is not just an accident of bad acting but an intended characterisation of the persona being incorporated.

9/10 whole new sets of senses...

*You might be wondering why I classify this as a ghoul movie, but considering my personal definition of a ghoul, it fits.

**If I ever should find myself leader of a political party, that will be my motto.

Angst (1983)

Angst is an Austrian movie, made in the glorious year of my birth. We follow .... ....., a guy who has been living 14 years of his life in prison - first for attempted murder of his mother, then for a random old woman he killed. He narrates his story to us.

This movie is so essentially Austrian that I only want to mention it once. This movie breathes Austria.

Our protagonist informs us that he plans to kill again - and again and again. His plan consists of visiting the first café that's open to look for a human.

Camera, editing, sound and acting combine to create a tense atmosphere. Our protagonist - our killer - needs to act out his fantasies after 10 years in prison. After a failed attempt to kill a female taxi driver (she reminds him of his first girlfriend...), he gets out of the taxi, slightly disoriented, and runs through the wooden area. He does not know where he is, how long he was running or into which direction. Aimlessly, he walks on.

...until he chances upon an apparently empty, deserted house surrounded by a park with a small wood and a lake. Ideal - no neighbours anywhere, big, isolated... our protagonist breaks a window and enters the house.

He is full of nervous, greedy tension, and informs us that he cannot take it much longer without... without. He is afraid - in a state which ruled out any logic. He is afraid of himself. Thoughts of his grandmother and his early childhood fear of being alone in a dark room. Haunted and tense, he wanders through the house... and then he sees the white car approaching. The inhabitants.

His plan will work. This place is perfect.

What follows is the spiraling down of our protagonist's rational thought into disorder and fear, the events spiraling out of conscious control. His thoughts scatter, drift back to his childhoods. His mother tried to kill him. He explains it to us in the same way he explains to us that he hadn't been wanted by his mother, as she would have preferred a girl. Growing up with his grandmother, who was very religious, he was sent to a monastery. They also kept animals there, and he used to go there and cut one of the animals - a pig - until it bled and screamed. After that, he'd had to leave the monastery. His mother then told him that his family had to be afraid of him. Fear. Abuse had followed, in order to discipline him.

All the while, he is pacing around frantically through the house, searching for his victims. He needs to find them. Needs to kill them. Both of the still living victims are incapacitated in some way... so it's not that difficult to find them. But still, nothing went as he had imagined it. He wanted it to be ...more dramatic.

The plan goes haywire. One of the victims, the old woman, appears to be unconscious, and he needs her to be conscious. He wants to see her suffer. Semi-freeing the daughter, he crawls off with her to the kitchen to find the medication for the old woman. Indiscriminately, he feeds her pills, for she still needs to whimper and cry before him - she cannot die just like that. But she's dead.


And then... cold again. Now, only the girl is left.

But this death also doesn't go as planned, and frustration consumes him - his urges are still unfulfilled. No torture. No pain. Everything went too fast, had been too much out of his control.

And then... well, then things spiral even more out of control.

The camera is always well done - nothing special, a bit minimalistic, but good at capturing the mood of an Austrian city and Austrian, uhm, woods. Some of the shots are more than just good and help to add a frantic, surreal atmosphere to the movie, as befits a flick about a serial killer spiraling out of control. There is no logic to his psychotic needs anymore - where before there was cold planning, there now is hectic, frantic, impulsive rage and delusion.

Killer-wise, we get treated to some light necrophilia (if we can call it that) and the spectrum of manic episodes in a disordered serial killer after his first kills in 10 years.

I congratulate Erwin Leder for his portrayal of the psychopath. It's a good performance that shows us one of the myriad faces of mental disease. He really is perfect for the role - whilst watching Angst, you can literally see Leder grow into the role more and more the more demented our protagonist becomes.

He is, as an actor, delving into the midst of psychotic, fragmented thought - the thought-pattern that has come to dominate our killer's psyche. Wide shots accompany him as he hurries to the car, showing us the bleak Austrian landscape of autumn. That specific Austrian feeling. Funny Games (the original, not the remake) had some of that atmosphere as well, but nowhere near as completely and markedly as Kargl's Angst.

Déja vù.

A brilliant movie. I personally can only recommend it.

10/10 unstable serial killers who never experienced their mother's love.