Martyrs (2008)


I think if it weren’t so obsessed with its own self-indulgent pseudo-spiritualism and didn’t stop to tell four different stories simultaneously, “Martyrs” may have been a decent film. It begins as a solid revenge picture, but then devolves in to an absurd campaign in torture and pain. It’s a grueling sadistically boring horror drama with a narrative so convoluted I stopped caring about what was unfolding after the first half hour. “Martyrs” loves to pretend it’s this transcendent statement about our questioning of the afterlife, but in reality it’s just misogynist torture porn painted as art house dribble that will make you feel dirty.

Continue reading

American Mary (2012)


The crux of “American Mary” depends on the performance by Katharine Isabelle. While the film itself is a unique and very entertaining tale about revenge, madness, and masochism, the lead performance of Mary is most important. Almost any other actor probably would have played the character of Mary Mason completely over the top, but Katharine Isabelle’s turn as a slowly unraveling sadist with revenge on her mind is incredible. Even brilliant.

Continue reading

Bitter Feast (2010) (DVD)

bitterfeastIt’s not uncommon for artists of any kind to go off the rails or be driven mad by critics. Vincent Gallo is famous for lashing out at Roger Ebert for his bashing of “Brown Bunny,” producers like Avi Arad and studios are known for bashing critics that bash their work, and in 2010, Kevin Smith just sank in to the deep end after the critical destruction of “Cop Out.” But while “Bitter Feast” is a commentary on pushing people too far, it’s also a look at what happens when two bitter absolutely pretentious men meet and decide they’re going to make each other suffer for their lives’ miseries. While many will be quick to deem this as a satire of the critical world, director Joe Maggio actually spoofs both sides of the field, the artist and the critic. Or in this film, the pompous pretentious artist who takes his work much too seriously, and the critic who refuses to be honest and or kind and just wants to purposely play a heel for the sake of publicity and readership.

Continue reading

Graphic Sexual Horror (2009): Special Edition (DVD)

In spite of what you may think of Brent, the founder of, the infamous bondage and torture website featuring gorgeous models being bound gagged and drowned, the man was prophetic in his use as the internet to engage users in anonymous guiltless sexual interaction that paved the way for reality shows, thousands of voyeur and fetish websites, and also helped streamline the concept of live feeds as we know it. “Graphic Sexual Horror” is a documentary that’s almost impossible to sit through. While I am someone who is fascinated with the darkest of sexual taboos, founder of, Brent, is an unabashed lover of S&M, Torture, and bondage, and takes great pride in depicting small filmed sequences involving women being tortured in some of the most horrific ways possible.

Continue reading

Hostel: Part II (2007) (Unrated Director's Cut) (DVD)

51lQuOKmcpLWhen “Hostel Part II” failed to burst from the starting gates at the box office, there was many an interesting developments. The torture fad had officially drawn to a close with “entertainment insiders” lamenting the death of said fad that polluted theaters, horror geeks worried about the fate of hardcore gore filled horror films, and Eli Roth pretty much blamed everyone but himself. He blamed the bootleggers, he blamed critics, he blamed the studio, and hell, he warned of the death of R rated horror if his film did poorly. To date, two R rated horror films have been hits in the box office. The explanation toward the lethargic pacing of “Hostel Part II” at the box office can be summed up in a short sense. It was merely a retread of the first.

Continue reading

Hostel (2005)

Hostel_01_1024“Hi! I’m Eli Roth, I’m that film school reject people like Quentem Tarantino and Takaki Miike are saying is a genius! I make moving pictures, moving pictures that really suck, but see people don’t know that, because I just pass it off as art, and then my mentor pats my head, critics praise me, complacent horror fans worship me, and I disappear in to my house.” There were two movies that came out in 2005, two similar attempted nihilistic horror entries that were both very gory, very unique, and made at the displeasure of the MPAA, and both struck chords with horror fans. Except this one.

Continue reading