Viewed – 27 August 2016  Online rental

Every now and then I feel up for a nasty little horror movie and have a pretty strong threshold of what I can endure with movies like Hostel and Saw standing out as good examples of the more extreme side of horror.  However it’s often the case that horror from foreign countries can push that envelope further as witnessed in the disturbing classic Martyrs.  So sitting down to this Turkish entry I was both excited and a little nervous.


A group of cops, hanging out at a late night restaurant, are called to an emergency at an old, abandoned police station in the middle of nowhere.  So sets up a night of terror, hallucinations and a descent into hell as the cops try to make sense of an increasingly bizarre and freaky situation.  Director Can Evrenol has gone on record as saying he was influenced by the movies of such Italian horror auteurs as Lucio Fulci and Dario Argento, and if like me you’re at all familiar with either director, it’s in full force here; Argento’s decidedly weird colour palettes of blues & reds (and great use of music) … Fulci’s dream-logic narrative and revelling in gore etc.  This is less a movie about story, traditional structure and more about atmosphere, style and freaking out (or repulsing) the viewer.  In such respect it works wonders and jumps in time, dreams and reality whilst at first jarring, soon created a personality all it’s own, and I began to just go with it, awaiting the next nutty development.

This is pretty messed up stuff; satanism, lashings of blood, graphic throat slits, and at the centre of it all the horribly disturbing looking ‘Father’.  I won’t go into any more of what happens but rest assured this one is not for the easily offended or squemish (and it gets pretty sick) but definitely a movie for gore-hounds and those that like their horror to punch them in the face until they can’t take no more.  Yet it could have been scarier, and as there is little reason or logic to anything, I was left not really caring about any of the characters.  With that said, I still applaud the director for nailing a very effective style and delivering an ‘experience’ not easily forgotten.

Verdict:  3.5 /5

City Of The Living Dead

Viewed – 04 February 2012  Television

In the early eighties, a bunch of horror movies were deemed, at least here in the UK as too shocking for public consumption, and were banned outright.  In subsequent years these so called ‘video nasties’ began to slowly emerge, more often than not in a censored form.  Thankfully these days many of them can be found uncut, and one of the pioneers of such movies was late Italian director Lucio Fulci.  I have only seen a couple of his movies, but can attest they do live up to his moniker of ‘the godfather of gore’.

This 1980 release has a priest hanging himself in a cemetery whilst at the same time a psychic see’s the incident in a vision during a séance.  Soon after weird things start to happen, and recently deceased persons start coming back to life.  The psychic and a group of other people then journey to Dunwhich, where the priest hung himself to hopefully prevent the end of the world … as you do.

This is typical 80’s horror fair, with questionable acting, a couple of pretty females, and stand out moments of gore.  Lucio Fulci was a skilled director that’s for sure, even if his stories were usually wafer thin and incoherent.  This movie is no different, as the plot is mostly left unexplained (like what was the priest all about?) and the characterisation non-existent.  The movie is very creepy however, with some decent atmosphere and the soundtrack certainly works to crank up the tension.  For a Fulci movie the gory moments are a bit hit and miss (the drill sequence is stunning, but the vomit-up-ones-own-guts bit, is just ridiculous) and whatever interesting ideas it has to start with, just degenerates into your average zombie movie towards the end.

This was entertaining though, and I’m glad I have finally managed to see it.

Verdict:  2.5 /5