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The blog of author Dennis Cooper

19 experimental horror films *

* (Halloween countdown post #11/rerun)

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Nico B PIG (1998)
PIG, a film depicting the relationship between a killer (Rozz Williams) and his victim (James Hollan), where all lines are crossed, blending fantasy and reality, in a transformation of the subconscious mind of a killer, graphically showing the manifestation of itself into abstract forms and material, all deriving from his suffering and desperation. PIG was the last project of Rozz Williams (who died 4.1.1998), formerly known from the rock group Christian Death among others. R.W. spoke of the film as a form of exorcism & transition of his personal demons. Directed by Nico B.’

 

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Leila Jarman A Dream of Paper Flowers (2016)
‘A “giant lactating tit slug” serves as the star of the short film A Dream of Paper Flowers. The slug and the film are the creations of filmmaker Leila Jarman and puppet artist and poet Chelsea Bayouth. Jarman and Bayouth have teamed up with artist and producer Luka Fisher, artist MRK, digital artist Mike Leisz, cinematographer Spencer Rollins, and electronic musician and head of Proximal Records Sahy Uhns to create a work that combines puppetry and poetry, black-and-white filmmaking, and electronic sound design, into a surreal portrait of the female experience. The film is utterly abject. Close-ups of the film’s “star” pan across leaking conic growths, patches of rough hair (human hair?), and hills and valleys of uneven, alien skin. And yet, these images are also clandestinely beautiful: filmed in black-and-white, their harshness becomes softened and the precise detailing of their designs comes to the fore. As the film progresses, Bayouth’s beast begins to pulsate with greater intensity and, with a final, natal push, MRK emerges, naked like a newborn and covered in a tangling of material that harkens strongly of the organic gore of childbirth.’

 

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Anthony Spadaccini Post-Mortem (2010)
‘A suicidal teenage boy is befriended by a sadistic serial killer, who vows to set him free of his drug-addicted family. From award-winning filmmaker Anthony Spadaccini comes the third and most horrifying chapter in the Head Case series, an experimental horror film that depicts a journey into an adolescent’s surrealistic nightmare.’


Trailer

 

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James Quinn. The Law of Sodom (2017)
‘The Law of Sodom is a very extreme and controversial award winning experimental horror short film, visualizing the terror one goes through when suffering from schizophrenia, directly out of the mind of a schizophrenic, written & directed while being psychotic. It will take you on a trip through the darkest and most terrifying places of the human mind, through a mental hell, a hell of grotesque hallucinations, the most extreme and violent obsessive thoughts and paranoid delusions, a world in which only one law applies: The law of destruction, the law of Sodom.’


Trailer

 

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Tzuan Wu Disease of Manifestation (2010)
‘The act of manifestation is to rupture with the present world and the compulsion to change it. Here comes the paradox between outward-looking and inward-looking perspectives of the notion of revolution, which is the initiation of this project, manifestations as the infectious psychosis. This work was composed in a pseudo-automatic writing manner, collaged with the fragments of various forms and contents, of images and words. I trim them with juxtaposition, bad translation, and misreading the different visual, audio or textual references in a machinery speaking… forming the work with heterogeneous qualities with in. The work builds itself towards the anarchistic conditions of the inner scenes, can also be seem as a wrong-manifesto.’ TW

 

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Eric Stanze ICE FROM THE SUN (1999)
‘Shot entirely on Super 8 film, this award-winning experimental horror movie was director Eric Stanze’s second feature film. Released in 1999, it remains one of the most logistically complex films ever made at its budget level. ICE FROM THE SUN was among the first independent films to be released on the newly-introduced DVD format – and it was the very first film shot on Super 8 to be DVD-released. Even though the cutting pace of ICE FROM THE SUN is incredibly fast, it was one of the last feature films to be arduously edited on a linear system. Everything (Hollywood feature films, commercials, music videos, amateur shorts, etc.) is edited on non-linear computer editing systems today.’

 

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Romain Perrot & Andy Bolus Free as Dead (2016)
‘In the analog tradition of DIY underground cinema, Lighten Up Sounds proudly presents this VHS edition of FREE AS DEAD, a new experimental short horror film from the twisted minds of Andy Bolus (Evil Moisture) and Romain Perrot (Vomir). The film is a collaborative work, a shadowy nightmare of evil excess, demented sorcery and lurid ritual. Our story concerns a man bound to death and a young girl, following a path of ritualistic transfiguration to ultimately become FREE AS DEAD.


Trailer

 

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Adam Lehmeier The Bunny Game (2011)
‘It’s taken The Bunny Game four years to receive a proper American release, and we can see why. As the British Board of Film Classification’s decision to ban it from UK cinemas makes clear, director Adam Rehmeier’s black-and-white, near-snuff film isn’t for the faint of heart; frankly, we don’t know who in the hell it’s for exactly. The Human Centipede II, another recent piece of B&W exploitation, at least has the self-awareness and grasp on gallows humor to make us laugh at its insanity; The Bunny Game, with its repulsive presentation of a prostitute named Bunny (Rodleen Getsic) being endlessly and sickeningly savaged by a mad trucker, is torture porn without a funny bone in its celluloid body. Play this game at your own risk.’

 

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Quentin Dupieux Rubber (2011)
RUBBER is the story of Robert, an inanimate tire that has been abandoned in the desert, and suddenly and inexplicably comes to life. As Robert roams the bleak landscape, he discovers that he possesses terrifying telepathic powers that give him the ability to destroy anything he wishes without having to move. At first content to prey on small desert creatures and various discarded objects, his attention soon turns to humans, especially a beautiful and mysterious woman who crosses his path. Leaving a swath of destruction across the desert landscape, Robert becomes a chaotic force to be reckoned with, and truly a movie villain for the ages. Directed by legendary electro musician Quentin Dupieux (Steak, Nonfilm), aka Mr. Oizo, RUBBER is a wholly original tribute to the cinematic concept of “no reason.’


Trailer


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Reece and Ryan O’Connell Disturbed (2009)
‘We are a 16 year-old filmmaking duo, which make low budget short films. Our films are usually dark, mysterious, and sometimes experimental, and we also work on various other projects such as music video’s, live performances etc…’

 

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Lois Patiño Mountain in Shadow (2013)
MOUNTAIN IN SHADOW offers a poetic view on the relationship between the immensity of the landscape and the insignificance of the human being, through a hypnotic ballet of night-time skiers on a snowy slope. Starting from the white of the snow, the image turns increasingly darker and more stylized, almost black-and-white, as LOIS PATIÑO gradually shifts from mere representation of the mountain to a fascinating display of spectral, dreamlike spaces, transporting the viewer from the physical level to a metaphysical one.’


Excerpt

 

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Kurt Dirt Driller Queen (2017)
‘Ida Skinner is a young down and out morgue attendant / drag queen with personality disorders that would make Jeffrey Dahmer blush. He is constantly ridiculed for not being able to afford nice wigs or clothes but one day this all changes when a dead lady with fantastic hair is brought in. Unable to resist Temptation Ida scalps the body and finds himself the toast of the local drag scene. Soon he is inundated with requests for his fabulous human hair wigs and as the morgue begins to dry up he realises he must turn to murder to find the perfect material for his weaves… The film stars Violet Blonde as Ida Skinner. This is Violet’s first acting role but she’s no stranger to performance, and Violet caught the directors attention with her wild and outrageous home made looks, veering from immaculate drag to twisted club kid akin to something from a Cronenberg movie. Violet was originally penned to play “Bubbles” in Life is Cheap but had to pull out at the last minute. The rest of the cast, so far, includes Life is Cheap stars Joe Spencer, Ben Atomgrinder, Lou Woodcock, and a few more exciting new names to be confirmed. As with Kurt’s previous film the directing, editing, special effects etc. will be handled by himself with help from his wife Lisa. US based writer Heidi Moore is set to assist with the script. The film is to be scored by 70s/80s Lucio Fulci / William Lustig inspired composer Polypores, AKA Stephen James Buckley.’


Trailer

 

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Michael Higgins Funnel Web Family Refrigerated (2016)
Funnel Web Family Refrigerated is a refrigerated version of the 13 minute Funnel Web Family i.e. it lasts longer. Similar to the defrosted version it is a prying look at the creatures that inhabit a home. Shot using an early form of wireless CCTV camera technology it places the viewer in an intense voyeuristic position which at times generates a sense of unease and atmospheric disturbance.’


Trailer

 

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Naoki Yoshimoto Sanguivorous (2011)
‘Naoki Yoshimoto’s Sanguivorous is an experimental vampire film about a woman descended from a line of vampires, and starring veteran butoh dancer Ko Murobushi. A butoh-inspired vampire film isn’t enough of a reason to get you out to the theatre?’


Trailer

 

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Eddie Alcazar FUCKKKYOUUU (2015)
‘Shot on black-and-white film with a foreboding drone and static-filled score by Flying Lotus that gets very abrasive, it’s as gorgeous as it is unnerving. “With the ability to travel in time, a lonely girl finds love and comfort by connecting with her past self,” the film’s synopsis reads. “Eventually faced with rejection she struggles with her identity and gender, and as time folds onto itself only one of them can remain.” Rather straightforward as far as synopses go. So much so, in fact, that it almost seems like a joke, because FUCKKKYOUUU is anything but straightforward. The exploration of the girl’s identity, both with her gender and state of mind, is full of body horror and dark dreamscapes. It’s Rubber Johnny shot through both silent and modern era filmmaking techniques.’

 

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Pat Tremblay Atmo HorroX (2016)
‘The movie is a VERY weird one, it’s kind of a psychedelic horror b-movie inside an experimental satire and then wrapped into a cryptic mystery thriller… And because of that, I’ve decided to actually release the OFFICIAL TRAILER first, and only later put out the TEASER TRAILER. I want to make sure you will learn even less by the time the second one arrives, especially since the movie has some rather slow burn gags… The film gives lots of trippy visuals but it’s also a detective job for the spectator to decipher this Mind Puzzle. So be prepared for this reverse and very unspoilery promotion angle!’

 

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Janie Geiser Ghost Algebra (2009)
‘What do we see in this film? Holes. Lots of them. Holes for looking through. There’s a little plastic doll who looks very 1940s, some birds, numerals, trees, and lots of grass. Blades of grass. When I see a little plastic girl doll looking into holes I see a filmmaker looking into a camera to investigate the world, or rather the mind, or perhaps the unconscious. This doll approaches an odd stone bunker on a hill and she peers into a small opening into darkness. It looks a bit like an old Nazi gun bunker. Carl Jung would approve! All experimental films should dig into the unconscious mind, I think. People throw ‘dreamlike’ around quite often these days when talking about films. There are very few dreamlike films. What most people mean by dreamlike is simply blurry. Anyway, our plastic doll sees things in storybook fashion that suggest nature and Nazis. There’s warfare going on. The precision of battle maps. The doll’s vision puts conflicting images of tamed nature description together with extreme violence. Nothing is attached properly to anything. Ideas do not lead to logical conclusions. Instead, they lead to odd constructions.’

 

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William F. Claxton Night of the Lepus (1972)
‘Before its release, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer (MGM) renamed the film from its original name of Rabbits and avoided including rabbits in most promotional materials to try to keep the featured mutant creatures a secret. However, the studio itself broke the secret by issuing rabbit’s foot-themed promotional materials before the release. Widely panned by critics for its premise, bad directing, stilted acting and laughable special effects, the film’s biggest failure was considered to be the inability to make the rabbits seem scary. Night of the Lepus has gained cult status for its inadvertent avant-garde quality.’


Trailer


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James Batley Kneel Through the Dark (2013)
‘Less a film, more a form of ceremonial magic. An audio / visual grimoire. A rite drawing on the teachings of the occult master Crowley to usurp the physical, mental and astral consciousness that smother and chain the uninitiated to this burning world. An incantation that reconnects and invokes occult rhythms and codas of nature that drill through the subconscious and draw your whiskers fully to the ether.’


Trailer

 

 

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p.s. Hey. We’re in the final Halloween countdown, and here’s another re-spotlit thematic post shaped feast for the senses that you can negotiate today. Please let it experiment on you.

3 Comments

  1. Super-fine collection today, Dennis. I’m a big James Batley fan, but seems like it’s been a few years with no new work. Will definitely check out some of the items soon.

    A friend on goodreads just sent this intriguing article:
    https://www.bfi.org.uk/news-opinion/news-bfi/lists/10-great-lesser-known-folk-horror-films

    Hope it’s not too smoky down south. Not too bad here so far, but I see the smoke might be drifting in.

    Bill

  2. KeatonEatsCockroaches

    October 28, 2019 at 10:13 pm

    Experimental horror can be some of the best. Like the totally awesome Dude Bro Party Massacre III that I just watched the other day. Spent the morning at the Ringling estate in Sarasota. Sarasota is just south of St. Pete on the Sunshine Coast, a lively community of artists since the turn of the century. Stephen King lives there full time now. Sarasota has a lively ghost history according to Sunshine Coast ghost writer Kim Cool. Some nice pieces in the Ringling collection. Some fantastic Mannerist works. I wonder if there was a problem with his eyes. I found troublesomeness in the eyes of many of the paintings, sleeping Christ child, saints, etc. Many of the works feel like they were enjoyed, they are charged with keen suggestion and movement of hands and such. Missed the haunted houses, woosface (my dear boi) kept chickening out. Psyched for smashed frog shots and Trick or Treating this week. reading Jacobs and Dickens. Hope LA is poppin

  3. Ulli Lommel’s “Black Dahlia” is not without interest for fans of driller horror.

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