One of my favourite subgenres Body horror is pretty different from your more typical slashers, and paranormal thrillers as it deliberately focus on the human body itself. Usually having characters
exhibiting either graphic transformations such as werewolves, or deformations and mutations that lead to the eventual death/destruction of that particular character.
I'm aiming for films that are either excessively gross with lots of melodrama. Or have some focus
on over the top human transformations and to mix things up I'm also going to be a little controversial this time and not pick any John Carpenter or David Cronenberg flicks. As while they are among some of my favourite directors, I've pretty much already covered all their excellent works in previous blogs.
Altered States 1980
Dr Edward Jessup, a Harvard professor of abnormal psychology. Has a theory that he's become
quite obsessed with. That's to induce altered states of human consciousness by conducting experiments on himself with hallucinogens in a sensory deprivation tank. However, ignoring the advice from his peers to stop and falling deeper into his passion. Jessup's body starts to undergo a troubling transformation.
Altered states is a compelling psychedelic sci-fi horror that draws you in with its trippy visuals and
excellent sound design. I mean the special effects for the time are fantastic, and the bizarre religious undertones and surrealism just leave you thinking What the shit am I watching.
But I have to say, the film does make it hard for you to like Williams Hurt's wreckless character as he's a bit of an arrogant dick. Nevertheless Altered states has an imaginative blend of visuals, sounds and ideas that are definitely worth checking out.
Everything was the status quo in the small town of Wheels until a small meteor crashes into the woods with some form of alien life attached. When missing pets go on the rise, and farmers livestock starts getting mutilated. These strange events almost go unnoticed, that is... until a
young woman goes missing. Now with the towns Sheriffs involved, it's not long before they come face to face with the grim and disturbing force that's devouring all the life within the area.
James Gunn's B movie throwback. Slither is an excellent blend of black humour and over the top
gore. To a level that will satisfy any fan of body horror with its gross-out visuals and low-brow
comedy.I'd say the films only real problem is that it's especially disgusting. So much so, I can imagine a lot of people not wanting to finish it. Nevertheless, as this is a body horror list, I honestly can't see this been the case.
Besides, if you're like me and have the stomach for, gross B-movie comedy horrors then, by all
means, check Slither out.
Follows a teenager called Bill Whitney who lives an ordinary life with his parents and sister in
Beverly Hills, California. However, when his sister's ex-boyfriend gives him a recorded tape of what sounds like his family involved in a murderous orgy. Bill slowly but surely begins to discover the awful truth about his family and what they get up to among Beverly Hills social elite.
With a pretty high amount of tension throughout the first half of the movie. Society is the ideal
body horror for those of you enjoys conspiracy theories. With the added bonus of some wonderfully creepy special effects and relatively good acting for a cheesy 80s horror film.
I'll admit the movie does have quite a few flaws such as it does drag on a little bit in the second act and that our main hero, Bill, can be a bit of a dumbass at times. However, if your patient and are up for a different type of slime-fest then, give Society a chance.
Tokyo Gore Police 2008
In a chaotic futuristic Tokyo. A deranged scientist known as Key Man has invented a virus that
mutates people into monstrous creatures called Engineers, that grow grotesque weapons from any
severe injury. To deal with this new threat, the Tokyo Police Force has been privatized so that it can fund a special squad of officers called Engineer Hunters.Among them is officer Ruka, who wants to track down her father's killer while battling against this mutant menace.
Dismembered body parts springing out chainsaws arms, comedic fountains of blood and lots of weird mutations Tokyo Gore Police is an action-comedy that excels at what it wants to achieve. If you're expecting character development and a plot that makes sense, then you're watching the wrong film. This movie is all about over the top action sequences, mutants and lots and lots of blood.
Tokyo Gore Police is a wacky film that's pretty good at polarizing its audience. As in, by the first 10 mins or so, you'll be able to grasp if this is the movie for you.
Set in an industrialized cityscape, the film follows Henry Spencer. A man trying to survive this
bleak industrial environment. When he's informed by his neighbour that his girlfriend Mary, wants him to have dinner with her family. At the dinner, Henry learns that there's an ulterior motive to the invitation. And that Mary has just given birth to a child. However, Spencer is not sure if what she bore is really a child.
Another love-hate film that divides its audiences Eraserhead... a movie that I couldn't stand on first
viewing is one of those films that slowly grows on you. Especially if your the type of person who
likes to analyze characters and find new meaning with stories via symbolism.
Nevertheless, the thing that stands out the most to me on this film is not it's mix of surrealist body
horror nor black comedy. But it's disturbing sound design. With its weird-ass industrial moans and
hisses that are intentionally far louder than what' you'd typically expect. Eraserhead is a surreal movie that should be on every film enthusiast bucket list, to be loved, hated or analyzed.
After a sexual deviant called frank is deceived and inadvertently opens a portal to hell. He's torn
apart and dragged inside a puzzle box. Sometime later, Frank's brother and wife movie into Frank's house only to accidentally bring what's left of him back to life.Convincing his brother's wife to help reconstruct himself, all he needs her to do is to simply lure men back to the house so he can use their blood.
With some compelling monster designs and special effects. Hellraiser is a cult classic that has a
pretty original and creative plot. Sure the main heroine of the story falls for some of the most
obvious and irritating things.
But the one thing I like the most about this film is that it doesn't overuse its antagonists. I mean it's a great example of how less is more. Unlike movies made around the same time, the monsters in this film get very little screen time and yet are very freaky and unforgettable.
Dead Alive 1992
When his mother is transformed into a zombie after she was bitten by a diseased rat-monkey. Lionel, unable to bring himself to dispose of his undead mum. Keeps her alive by bringing her lots
of yummy things like his girlfriend's dog. But even the most devoted son's love has its shortcomings.
A film with probably the most over the top and goriest scene of all time. Peter Jackson's Dead alive
is the ultimate splat-stick for fans of blood and gore. I mean to say this film is bloody is an absolute understatement, it's so excessive that you can't help but laugh at even the most disgusting scenes.
And considering this is a body horror vid then, in theory, I can't imagine anyone watching this. To
not to like this movie. So if you haven't seen this yet, by all means, get your hands on a copy a.s.a.p.
Basket Case 1982
A young man called Dwayne arrives in New York City with a locked wicker basket. After he finds
somewhere to live at a cheap hotel, the landlord and its tenants are unaware that inside this
basket is Dwayne's deformed Siamese-twin brother. Deeply resenting being cut off from each other
the pair are now free to seek revenge against the doctors who separated them against their will.
This weeks troll pick; a fun revenge horror with a decent and unique plot. Basket Case is an
excellent B-Movie with its amazingly bad low budget practical effects and an equally lousy script.
But what I really like about this movie is its cheesy performances. Especially the actors, who really
do try their best with this hilarious foam puppet grabbing their faces.
With unintentional humour from unusual and unexpected scenes. Basket case is lots of fun and the
epitome of 80s horror cult classics that are both disturbing and funny at the same time.