Sunday, October 24, 2021

Teens Gone Satan'd: Satan's Servant (2021)

Satan's Servant (2021)
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Josephine Thompson, Erin Wynden and Sean Okimoto

After a girl in their town seemingly disappears one night, bestfriends James and Tyler suspect a similar worst case scenario when they learn their friend, Jane Booker, hadn't come home from a party they were attending just hours ago. Through a rather uncomfortable talk with her mother, the boys figured they could try tracking her through her phone and soon finds her... safe and sound with her boyfriend, Bryan.

Turn out that Jane's avoiding her mom like the plague as earlier that evening, Mrs. Booker duct-taped Jane to a chair and rambled on about a murder-y Satanic ritual she planned to better her daughter. Jane, of course, thinks her mum have gone cuckoo for Satan (Well, further cuckoo. Turns out this wasn't ole' mumsie's first dabbling with the dark arts) and managed to escape her captor.

Hoping to put a stop to Mrs. Booker's Satanic reign, James, Tyler, Bryan and Jane hatch a plan to lure her out and find as much evidence as possible back at the house for their claims of ritual murders and unholy pacts. Unfortunately for these teens, Mrs. Booker has grown desperate to get her daughter back to do the ritual, so she enlists the help of a mask-wearing otherworldly butcher and all hell will soon break loose...

Within the budget of around $2000.

Satan's Servant (2021) advertises itself as a film made by teens and there really is no denying that fact; in true do-it-yourself fashion, the entire production is made within a close circle of friends and families, with special effects and editing done on the most frugal fashion, as well as acting chops that are just as good as the writing done for them which isn't really a lot. In a sense, it's not an effective horror movie given its near no-budget quality for, well, everything, but Satan's Servant still has its interesting plot points and a rather ambitious execution despite its budgetary restrictions so entertainment-wise, it's pretty okay.

There's no doubting the room of improvements needed here, particularly the writing, its tone and the gore effects, but Satan's Servant (2021) can still be seen as a nice little throwback to late 80s and early 90s SOV horror titles that haunted almost every Mom & Pop video rental stores, all cheap as chips but determined to entertain! With its little serving of Satanic horror meets suburban slasher, why not give this little slice of horror effort a try?

1 male mentioned killed, later seen with a stabbed chest
1 male gets an arm torn off and a thrown knife to the head
1 male stabbed in the head with a switchblade
1 male stabbed in the gut with a garden shear blade, head torn off
1 male decapitated with a switchblade
1 female knifed in the neck
Total: 6

Saturday, October 16, 2021

Consciousness Killer: Paranoid (2000)

Paranoid (2000) (AKA "Frightmare")
Rating: *
Starring: Shanda Lee MunsonSummer Sloan LaPannBrandon O'Dell

As of writing, it's the month of October and I'm kinda regretting covering most of the good Halloween slashers early on this site's creation as now I'm stuck with nothing to review but these degrading D-Grades that I'm sure most, if not no one would even bother with. On the plus side, though, the sooner I get my thoughts out about these cruds, the sooner I get to boot them out of my system. So here be one of them, a messy murder mystery going by Paranoid (2000). (Or "Frightmare" in some releases)

Opening with a girl heading home from a gym, we get our first taste of blood when after getting stalked by some dude with gnarly long hair, the girl discovers her parents were already murdered in their home by the same stalker who then proceeds to rope her up between trees and guts her open with a knife. Word of this crime spreads quickly all over town, reaching one high school wannabe-journalist Sarah, who cannot help but recall the death of her own twin sister at the hands of an infamous serial slayer known as the "Conscience Killer".

Things get hairy real quick when Sarah and her friends, done for the night after working on a Halloween funhouse, stumbles upon an abandoned building while on their way to a party. The abode, of course, didn't turn out to be completely abandoned as not only did they find some items inside that looks and feel mighty suspicious, but they also got chased out by a masked loon with a chainsaw. Believing they just found the hideout of the Conscience Killer, Sarah tries to convince her friends and local authorities the seriousness of the situation but, seeing each of them has bit of a reputation around the community, they weren't taken seriously. 

But as these things tend to go, someone starts killing random people and Sarah thinks its the Conscience Killer trying to find her and her friends to cover loose ends. Could she be right? 

Well, I would have cared more about this movie's little mystery if everything wasn't so stuffed up with low quality cheese and lackluster storytelling. For a slasher, there's more melodrama talk and dangerously wide plot holes here than thrills and spills and that just makes Paranoid (2000) a very unrewarding experience of a horror flick. Granted that the actors did their best to make the best out of the cheap-as-chips scripting, its plot still drags on to the point of a lulling stalemate with little to reward our patience, made worse by its horrid editing and unexciting (mostly offscreen) murder set-pieces.

To simply put it, fuck off, Paranoid (2000)! It's low-budget filmmaking done sloppily, better off collecting dust in some shelf than tainting one's brain with its very existence. 

1 male and 1 female found murdered
1 female gutted with a hunting knife
1 male and 1 female murdered with an axe, bodies later seen splayed 
1 female murdered with a knife (flashback)
1 male stabbed and slashed to death with a knife
1 male stabbed in the chest with a knife
1 female found murdered
1 male axed on the chest
Total: 10

Friday, October 15, 2021

Jesus Christ, Slasher Star: I Know What You Did Last Supper (2013)

I Know What You Did Last Supper
Author: Wayne Williams and Darren Allan
Publication Year: 2013
Chapters: 73 Including Epilogue
Rating: ****1/2

I first read about this book a year or so before I graduated college, the same time in my life where I had a religious crisis and ultimately changed from a Catholic to a proud religious skeptic. It was also the time I was rediscovering my love for slasher movies, old and new, so needless to say it was a match made in "heaven" and I fell in love with the daringness of this book's concept. I didn't get the chance to read it until very recently, however, and let me tell you all that it was a decade-long wait worth it!

In its pages, I Know What You Did last Supper follows the infamous apostle who betrayed Jesus Christ to the Romans for thirty pieces of silver, Judas Iscariot, though painted in a more sympathetic light; after learning that his uncle Gideon got himself in a spot of gambling trouble and now owes a sizable sum to a brutal ex-Gladiator, Judas decided to secretly meet up with Caiaphas, a Sanhedrin high priest who just so happens to be willing to pay silver in exchange of Jesus' whereabouts. Believing his friend and teacher can easily escape capture considering the godly miracles he performed, Judas uneasily agrees with Caiaphas' terms and led the high priest and his men to Jesus.

Only Jesus didn't fend off his captors and, long story short, he got whisked away to a gruesome trial where he is tortured, humiliated and eventually crucified, dying no soon after.

Horrified of what he have done, Judas tries to reason his guilt away with the matter that he did it to save a loved one. However, much to his further distress, it turns out his betrayal was all for nothing when upon meeting his uncle, he discovers that the man was able to pay off his gambling debts by selling some of his own belongings. With his mentor dead from his own actions and his fellow apostles suspecting him as the one responsible for Christ's capture, Judas has nowhere to go but back to his friends and family, some grew estranged from him after he became a follower of Christ, others just glad to have their beloved companion back.

No matter where the guilty Iscariot goes, unfortunately, torment will follow him and, soon, his loved ones as well; one by one, they will all fall victim to the hands of a madman. A madman with a vicious streak and a lust for carnage. A madman who believes in the words "an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth". A madman who knows what Judas did last supper...

I Know What You Did Last Supper is, frankly, the net result if you cross a somewhat accurate and consistent historical fiction set in Biblical times with the gory offerings of a modern day slasher exploitation and even a bit of murder mystery thriller. While it took some liberties in its portrayal of ancient Jerusalem as it more or less transpositions slasher and horror cliches to its period, it does bring out some creative and intriguing perspectives as to how some Biblical characters would've reacted and felt after the death of Christ which, in turn, led to a lot of interesting characterization and development. 

Judas, for one, is portrayed here as actually proud to be one of Jesus' disciples and sincerely believes in the man's teachings, which makes his regrets and forlornness understandable and relatable. For a decent amount of chapters, we pretty much follow the Iscariot stressing over the fact he technically sentenced the Son of God, his closest friend, to death and that his only means of possible solace could be to just run away from it all. Add in a lively and colorful set of characters from Judas' circle of friends, family and foes and we practically have a good line-up for a bloody misadventure once the first two kills jump-start the very meat of the plot.   

As a slasher literature, the book delivers and then some; with selected chapters dedicated to a murder or two (or three), it racks up a nice bodycount and quite a build-up for each. The writing for each goes carnally descriptive with its violence, though there are a few that irony for a taste of dark humor while others benefit from being as gruesome and harrowing for how extreme and torturous they can get. And, as the title implies, there's a mystery regarding the identity of the killer who announces their knowledge of Judas' secret through ominous writing in blood and a few suspects do get thrown around; some of these eventually become red herrings as any good twisty mystery would and a great deal of suspicion falls on very interesting possible culprits including the high priest who gave Judas his thirty silver (and apparently has a very dark secret he is willing to do anything to keep quiet about) and Jesus Christ himself. (Yes, they went there)

Up until the last act, I Know What You Did Last Supper makes all the smart and fun moves, each twists and turns leading to a shocking surprise and splatter-filled slayings. It's around the finale where the novel kinda falters a bit as we get a reveal that's somewhat fascinating, only to be downgraded by yet another curveball that would have been good if it didn't read like a last minute addition. Thankfully, this is really just a small smudge in an otherwise thrilling roller coaster of a horror fiction that wonderfully blends exploitative mayhem with earnest yet curious Biblical world-building. With rich characters, insane horror set-pieces and engaging whodunit plotting, I say, fellow slasher fans, give this one a read if you get the chance to pick it up, for God's sake!  

Bodycount: 21
Notable Kill: Oh Lord, there are plenty: We have a steamhouse massacre involving fellows getting cooked in boiling pools, their necks broken or have themselves pushed into furnaces. There's an unsettling break-in wherein a mother and a daughter gets attacked, one repeatedly cut while the other gets forced-fed with blood until they choke. And then there's that darkly hilarious dental appointment involving "tooth worms", a hammer and a knifed hand.

Oh, and we have a case of literal "coïtus interruptus" that got a bit too woody. Can't forget a staple slasher trope!

Saturday, October 9, 2021

The Bloody Bobby Bloodfest: Black Pumpkin (2018) and Legend of Fall Creek (2021) Double Bill Review

A low-budget slasher franchise about a Halloween-themed killer kid? Offing people?! On Halloween?!?! Eh, sure, why not?

Black Pumpkin (2018)
Rating: ***
Starring: Ellie Patrikios, Matt Rife and Grayson Thorne Kilpatrick

Years ago, on Halloween, a local sheriff and his teenage daughter were murdered in their home and though the killer was never caught, they did left a calling card: a black pumpkin.

Fast forward ten years later, two kids, Elliot and his best friend Porkchop, are filming a documentary about a local spook spot known as Diablo's Den for their school project, a place known for being the setting of "pretty much every tall tale and campfire story" from their town. Their presence, unfortunately, awaken something that terrorized their little burgh before, a local boogeyman named "Bloody Bobby" who many say was the ten-year old kid that vanished into the woods of Diablo's Den back at 1988. 

As people start being killed by “Bloody Bobby”, it's only a matter of time before the killer tyke makes his way to the two kids that brought him back, all the while local crazy Alex Griffin, who lost his brother at the hands of Bobby, tries his darnest to warn everyone of the little boogeyman's return and end the nightmare once and for all.

Black Pumpkin (2018) can be best described as the love child between "kid-centered" horror vibe ala The Monster Squad (1987) or Monster House (2006) and gorily shlocky supernatural slasher mayhem, done in that cheapjack B-grade filmmaking job that would either leave you giggling or groaning at how cheesy it can get. It's hardly scary with its less-than-stellar acting and cookie cutter plotting, not to mention its bargain price editing and uninspired score, but the film does have that macabre playfulness lingering around in terms of tone and the scenes wherein little "Bloody Bobby" is just doing his murderous deeds are just fun enough for how practical they're done, giving this messy treat at least a pass for its effort.

There isn't really much else to say about Black Pumpkin (2018), frankly; it's a low-budget bodycounter with a hammy heart of a kid who grew up in the late 80s or early 90s and that's more or less it. It's definitely not for everyone, but those willing to give this a try are welcome to do so, especially if you're into crazy killer kid movies and/or a big Halloween horror nut who's a little tougher to crack.

1 male knifed, later found with his eye plucked out
1 female shot on the face with a rigged shotgun
1 male hacked on the head with a hatchet
1 female crushed against a tree with a van
1 male disemboweled
1 female wrapped in barbwire and set ablaze
1 female strangled with fairy lights
1 male shredded with a lawnmower
1 male stabbed on the throat with a fire poker
Total: 9

Legend of Fall Creek (2021)
Rating: *1/2
Starring: Frank Brantley, Alton Clemente and Chuck Clendenin

After opening with a brief lesson of vocabulistics regarding the term “Grindhouse” and a text scroll backstory to the urban legend of Bobby Maxwell, a boy who vanished into the woods of Diablo's Den back at 1988 Halloween, the plot officially starts with a couple with car problems getting stranded on a road at All Hallow's Eve midnight and, as you would've guessed, they're soon killed by someone.

Cut to hours later and we now follow one Reggie who's returning to his home town to visit his favorite cousin Tiffany, 20 years after he and his family suddenly moved away. Their plans to catch-up lead to them attending the big Halloween party in town later that evening, unknown to the cousins and pretty much everybody else that Bobby Maxwell, AKA "Bloody Bobby", has gatecrashed the festivities with murder, mayhem and revenge in mind.

Although marketed as the prequel to Black Pumpkin (2018), Legend of Fall Creek (2021) actually takes place first, shot two years before Pumpkin under the title Bloody Bobby before being edited and retitled for distribution. This said, the movie certainly shows its age and low(er) budget and, I'm not gonna jerk around with this but, yeah, it's bad; the plot wallows in D-grade melodrama talk in large chunks and snail pace, hardly showing and doing anything horror-related until it remembers that it has this killer kid thing going around the opening and throws in a murder and/or exposition when it has the time. It does eventually go full slasher by the third act once the Halloween party starts but that doesn't really help when there are hardly any likable and/or interesting characters to go with this, further falling the film short on the entertainment factor.

Annoyingly, whenever a kill or so happens, Legend of Fall Creek (2021) go Grindhouse on us with video and audio effects made to look and sound like melted film reels, distorted voices, slow-mo shots and the likes. I'm not sure whether this is already in the unedited Bloody Bobby version or these are the editing done by the folks back at distribution, but all it does is make the murders hardly comprehensible and cheapened, something a good Grindhouse tribute should avoid doing at all costs!

In a way, I can see why Black Pumpkin (2018) was released first as that film is a whale of an improvement compared to Legend of Fall Creek (2021). What we have here is a trainwreck of corner-cutting direction, talky bad acting and tiresome plotting with barely anything to make up for them, a real damn feat at being unworkable. So unless you're a real hard ass for punishment, I suggest skipping this one. 

1 male found slaughtered
1 female brained with a hammer, later found gutted
1 female knifed to death
1 male decapitated with a machete
1 male brained with a bat, beaten against a toilet
1 female stabbed in the gut with a machete, later found garroted with fairy lights
1 female crucifix to a wall, gets a nail hammered into her mouth
1 male stabbed in the mouth with a nail and had his guts fished out
Total: 8

Friday, October 8, 2021

The Deadly Secrets of Osborne, Nebraska: There's Someone Inside Your House (2021)

There's Someone Inside Your House (2021)
Rating: ***
Starring: Sydney Park, Théodore Pellerin and Asjha Cooper

It all started with the murder of a small town football star; Jackson Pace was home alone and sleeping when he's awakened by an egg-timer going off next to him. He finds out that someone have been or still is in his house as photos of him beating a gay teammate bloody is posted all over the place. He eventually makes his way into a closet where a hooded figure just happens to be waiting for him, donning a mask resembling Jackson’s face and swiftly cutting the sport star's heels before knifing him dead. The murder is broadcasted all over town and talks of who's responsible spread the following morning.

Among pondering about the identity of the killer are Hawaii-born student Makani Young and her small group of friends, with some of them jokingly suggesting one of the dumb jocks while a few sincerely believes that a brooding loner named Ollie Larsson is responsible. Unbeknownst to them, Makani has a little history with Ollie, both being romantic with one another a Summer ago and she's thinking of continuing her sweet affairs with him, all the while keeping the relationship a secret along with her own troubled past. 

It isn't long before another one of the town's highschoolers bite the big one, this time class president Katie Koons, who recorded and anonymously posted a racist podcast. It comes to the attention of Makani's clique then that the killer is seemingly targeting people with dirty little secrets and, after a "Secret Party" gets held, where the attending youngsters literally have to share secrets with one another to make them "safe" from the prowling psycho (Glad to see Cherry Falls (2000) is still getting some recognition...), the motive is unfortunately proven true when Rodrigo, one of Makani's friends, gets the sharp blade after he fails to reveal his secret drug problems.

Already distraught from the loss, Makani is further torn when her friends begin to accuse Ollie as the killer since he did disappear during the Secret Party and his brother being the town's deputy also meant he can easily search private information about anybody in town. Makani couldn't believe it at first, but when Ollie reveals he did look her up, thus learning about the charges made against her back at Hawaii, and the killer just happens to target her next, she may have to face the chance that her boyfriend might be demented enough to start a spree killing...

Although the movie is based on the 2017 Young Adult slasher novel of the same name by Stephanie Perkins, There's Someone Inside Your House (2021) honestly feels more like a companion piece than a straight adaptation for how much it changed the narrative around, pretty much bearing its own plot with scenes and characters seemingly inspired by the book, rather. 

That said, I do like the straightforward and character-focused direction here as it gave us a workable and likable casts that we can definitely feel for. The film does lack a bit of edge when it comes to its horror and thriller elements despite the generous gore and creepy set-pieces, this is possibly due to the fact the approach taken here factors more on psychological and emotional horror through the film's theme of "weaponizing" secrets rather than excessive violence. This is seen and felt mostly from Makani's daily fear and paranoia of her past coming back to ruin her new life, often leading to her weighing the devastating losses she'd suffer from should anything she's hiding becomes public. Actress Sydney Park's invested performance as Makani undoubtedly played a big part on making this mostly work, though, story-wise, the direction could've been done even better should the rest of the victims were given the same poignant plight rather than making most of them deserving douches, soiling option for more effective cathartic moments.

Adding in the underwhelming reveal of the killer's identity which comes paired with a rather disjointed, too on-the-nose motive behind the killings, There's Someone Inside Your House (2021) certainly missed a lot of opportunities for improvement. Still, looking past the coming-of-age dramatics and the flawed thrills and horrors, the film has the saving graces of at least looking sleek, being occasionally funny and meeting its brutal quota whenever it needs to be met. It's workable enough in its excels to be more than another typical slasher through characterization and depth, so the film is far from terrible but unquestionably average for a dead teenager horror piece still. The book is better.  

1 male had his heels cut, knifed on the chest
1 female gutted, pushed face-first to a knife
1 male had his throat slashed with a knife 
1 male found gutted
1 male found slashed across the chest
1 male gets a sword skewered through his head
1 male knifed to death
Total: 7

Thursday, October 7, 2021

Lives And Deaths In Osborne, Nebraska: There's Someone Inside Your House (2017)

There's Someone Inside Your House

Author: Stephanie Perkins
Publication Year: 2017
Chapters: 29
Rating: ****

Welcome to Osborne, Nebraska. Population of twenty-six hundred. 

Or, at least it was.

It's been almost a year since Hawaiian-born Makani Young moved to this small town and all she wanted is to live a life of normalcy accompanied by new close friends and a loving grandmother, as well as finishing her high school senior year without her dark past coming back to haunt her. But when news broke out that one of her classmates was found with her throat slaughtered and her eyes slashed into grotesque "dead cartoon eyes" one morning, Makani finds herself in the middle of the dilemma when she decided to rekindle her relationship with Oliver "Ollie" Larsson, her lonesome pink-haired Summertime fling and possible suspect.

With Ollie having a bit of a reputation, one that involves ghastly rumors about his parents' demise, it isn't much of a surprise that Makani's friends are uneasy with him just looming around her. But do they know him as well as she does? Or has Makani's budding romance towards the boy blinded her from the possibility that he could be a vile murderer? As more bodies pile up, it's only a matter of time before Makani learns the truth behind these killings and that she might be the only one to stop it.

With a tone screaming pure 90s slasher nostalgia, There's Someone Inside Your House is author Stephanie Perkins' first stroll in penning an impressively violent teen horror after her line young adult romance novels, merging coming-of-age teenage drama with bodycounting nightmares in an attempt to flesh out its characters and build up the intrigue surrounding the murders. It's a direction that comes with a double edge as after the tension-building first murder, the story halter itself into a bit of a slump as we focus greatly around Makani's relationship issues with (one of) the town misfits; a bit of romance adds layers to the plot and it gives our leading characters their likable charm and depth, yes, but a long while of this nearly made the plot looking a tad like another romantic shindig only with a side of slasher horror.

Fortunately, once the murders start rearing up again, the plot picks up in a speedy and entertaining pace as a couple of chapters are dedicated to the morbidity and creepiness of the killer's attacks, written with a flair of brutal dismemberments and visceral slayings, accompanied with effectively distressing mind games done to toy and unnerve its unfortunate victims. It's around these parts we also get to know more about Makani's hidden past and how it intertwines with her present state as a potential target to a killer who's doing well enough to evade capture. As much as it adds a bit of mystery and edge to the situation, I better enjoyed the fact that the developments within these parts got rocky and tested, yet ending with Makani and her friends and lover bonding stronger to form a firm little group racing against time to stop a killer from claiming more lives.

Curiously, the last third of the book is where the whodunit ploy gets swapped out with a more manic stalk-and-prowl act wherein the killer is revealed not just to us, but also to the main casts, and yet our psycho continues their rampage, slaying as many as possible while the whole town searches for them. It's one of the best turns the story could've made and the resulting carnage is as exciting as it is gruesome, plus the thrill of knowing the killer yet unsure where they'll strike next is a whole ballpark of satisfactory horror reading! 

For what it is, There's Someone Inside Your House is an interesting addition to horror literature and a fun, quick read for slasher fans who hopefully wouldn't mind a lot of make-out sessions before and after a bloody good kill. While it may not necessarily add anything new, it's a good story that you can't put down, especially once that hunting knife gets wielded and the town of Osborne gets to know the face of true madness!

Bodycount: 6
Notable Kill: In context, this is a simple kill with some laughable imagery, but an entire chapter was built around the murder of a football player contemplating whether he is suffering from CTE (Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy) or not. The details written about his panic, confusion and distress just made the entire thing a lot more cathartic. I feel for the dude...

Sunday, September 26, 2021

Deep In The Woods, A Woman Hunts: What Keeps You Alive (2018)

What Keeps You Alive (2018)
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Hannah Emily Anderson, Brittany Allen and Martha MacIsaac

Celebrating their first anniversary, married lesbian couple Jackie (Hannah Emily Anderson) and Jules (Brittany Allen) head to a remote cabin in the woods to do all your typical backwoods fodder like hunting, fishing, and love-making near a warm, roaring fire. Their stay is far from honey glows and blissfulness, however, when Jackie's old friend suddenly stopped by one night and addresses her by a different name, much to Jules' confusion and now growing suspicions.

It isn't long before it dawns on Jules that the woman she married wasn't entirely open about her life and a long, painfully strenuous and deadly nightmare awaits her as Jackie pushed her off a cliff one day. A nightmare that will only gets worse the moment she survives the fall...

While it is evident the people behind What Keeps You Alive (2018) were aiming to do a modern-psycho thriller, the film does generously borrow a lot of tropes and elements from backwoods slashers for its more horror-oriented moments. The plentiful stalk-and-chase sequences all over the woods echo the likes of your classic forest-set bodycounter climax, building up tension and intrigue as the plot further marches onward to venomous betrayals and psychopathic twists while maintaining a very basic yet stylized survival story in its core.

What makes this all work for me is that once the reveal is made, the fact that the villainess here is simply bad because she is bad, detached from any feeling of compassion and is simply malicious, is all the reason the film needed to keep going. She is a threat that one needed to survive against and escape from and nothing else, a simplicity that feels genuinely terrifying and thankfully didn't resort to cheapening the dynamics between her and their wife being queer as a cause or a tool for the killer's evil, a trope you normally get as a mean to punish or be the cause of one to turn knife-stabbing mad in a horror story.  Everyone is simply a bear or a deer for her to hunt and this makes her the kind of driving force that keeps survival horror all that interesting, thrilling and fun.

Of course, What Keeps You Alive (2018) is far being flawless when one would consider the still numerous horror clichés thrown here and there, such as the number of times Jules could've escaped and not risk a deadly confrontation with her captor, or the real life inconsistencies and plot conveniences the writing suffers from. The quieter moments certainly have their shining moments of emotional baggage and development, but the horror side of the film is undoubtedly cheesed up on occasions, fortunately not enough to lessen the impact of its stronger, nerve-wrecking suspense scenes and the few yet brutal killings.

As it is for most backwoods horror films, What Keeps You Alive (2018) is simply gorgeous with its scenic mountainous backwoods and ever-going lake. The camerawork done for these shots greatly foreshadows how eminently isolated the whole place can get, thus the uselessness of getting any help soon or at all even, which adds to the strengths of the film's survival horror aspect. All in all, this is a solid survival thriller in its simplest and earnest, and sometimes that's all you need to have a fairly decent good time. A guaranteed watch!

1 male had his throat cut with a hunting knife
1 female stabbed to death with a hunting knife
1 female injected with tainted insulin, suffers a fatal stroke
Total: 3

Friday, September 24, 2021

Yuppie vs Hobo: The Vagrant (1992)

The Vagrant (1992)
Rating: ***
Starring: Bill Paxton, Michael Ironside and Marshall Bell

While the remnants of the 80s' Golden Age slashers do their darnest to breathe life unto their brand of cinematic carnage by end of its decade, the early 90s experimented with what can be done with the hack-and-slash formula and brought out a recognizable amount of horror thrillers that used an element or two from the stabby horror sub-genre. Yuppie horror (Or Yuppie-In-Peril as some would call it) is a fine example of a slasher aftershock that focuses on the comfortable existence of young urban professionals getting disrupted by often violent outside forces, from malicious family members and disgruntled officers to, well, as suggested by this film, random vagrants whose threat may or may not exists. 

Successful Arizona businessman Graham Krackowski (Bill Paxton) just wanted a quaint and tidy house to nests his perfect little life of paperwork, salaries and finances. He finds one eventually in the suburbs and it was quite a charming abode until, much to his horror, Graham discovers a very dirty vagrant dawdling in his new property. Unsettled but trying to be rational, he dismisses the bum as nothing more than a nuisance, but that proves to be easier said than done when the vagrant seemingly begins to stalk him both in real life and in his nightmares.

Growing paranoid from the homeless man's presence, Graham goes to the extreme to make his house safe from his perceived intruder, going as far as calling the cops multiple times on the man and even walling up his place with an elaborate, military-style security system. But things are about to hunker down for the worse when a string of suspicious murders starts happening around town and all the leads (as in, dismembered body parts) trail back to our growingly schizoid businessman. Has Graham completely lost it, walking and killing in his sleep? Or is there something else far more vile responsible for the gruesome bodycount?

One on end, The Vagrant (1992) is this cheeky satire on yuppie lifestyle doubling as a jab at prejudice mindset as the first third of the story appears to be working on the idea that Graham is an oblivious douche who couldn't wrap around his brain as to why no one would take his issue with the homeless man seriously, granted that said homeless man hadn't done anything overly vindictive despite his very dirty and manic appearance. The increasingly distressed approach Graham goes in order to resolve his problem is mostly played for laughs at how ridiculous they were getting, its direction oozing with surrealism and a good pinch of black humor, plus it kinda helps that our lead's pathetic, ass-kissing nature is played charmingly well by Bill Paxton, keeping his character from being too being unlikable albeit still being a one-note hack.

Once the bodycount starts, The Vagrant (1992) kinda goes all over with the strangeness as it shifts focus on victimizing Graham while still playing around the idea that he may not be, or is at least no longer right on the head. There are times where this works, with the added intrigue giving more substance to the story and it barely hinders the comedic satire of court dramas, popular psychology and media sensationalism around these parts, though there are moments where the resulting developments felt too random to vibe with the movie's sudden curveballs and do nothing more than be a hurdle on the pacing. (i.e. Graham's transition into a trailer park supervisor) A good bulk of the killings are also done offscreen, later to be revealed as bloody body parts in a probable ploy on the ambiguousness of the perpetrator, so those hoping to see a massacre may want to keep an open mind as the film aims for more creep factor and gooey absurdity than carnal violence for its kills. 

It all leads to a finale that certainly fits the slasher bill and the overall growing weirdness, complete with gnarly last minute deaths and a far-fetched explanation to everything that would either make you groan or just stare blankly because, of course, that's their explanation they'll go with. By the end of it, The Vagrant (1992) is a cult classic that earned its reputation for how bizarre it is, unsteadily teetering between being smart and outrageous. It definitely has a good set of talents to keep the performance watchable courtesy of Paxton in his lead role and Michael Ironside as a bumbling, trigger-happy detective, as well as a production value showing enough budget was used to keep the movie watchable, but the story undoubtedly could've used a lot of tweaking and maybe a better understanding on which satire to stick with to maintain a consistent sense of humor. A fun little timewaster and that's pretty much the gist of this movie.

1 elderly female seen murdered, fingers cut off
1 female found dismembered inside a fridge
1 elderly female suffers a heart seizure
1 dog found murdered with a meat cleaver
1 male dies from shock (?)
1 male impaled with a chair
1 male repeatedly shot, last seen dying from his wounds
Total: 7 (?)

Saturday, September 18, 2021

Say His Name: Candyman (2021)

Candyman (2021)
Rating: ***
Starring: Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris and Nathan Stewart-Jarrett

Personally, Bernard Rose's Candyman (1992) will forever remain as one of the many slasher masterpieces I have the good will and grace to experience; I love its gothic, modern fairy tale-esque direction, how it utilized the power of belief and legends to create a memorable, psuedo-romantic horror figure, as well as how it subtly uses the subtext of black oppression to create a level of depth and atmosphere to its approach in horror. This being said, I really wanted director Nia DaCosta's "spiritual sequel" to work, at least, all the way.

Struggling to find a spark of inspiration for his latest work, Chicago artist Anthony McCoy decided to wander around Cabrini-Green after hearing about an urban legend surrounding a graduate student who went on a killing spree back in the 1990s and was eventually stopped right before she was about to throw an infant into a bonfire outside the house projects. It is there where he meets William Burke, a laundromat owner who introduces him to yet another legend; the Candyman.

According to Burke, his Candyman was an eccentric hook-handed man named Sherman Fields, believed to be responsible for putting razor blades in sweets after a girl found one in her Halloween stash. It wasn't long before overzealous police corners and beats Sherman to death but, much to everyone's horror, the man was later revealed innocent when more razorblades were found in sweets after his murder. It is then said that by saying "Candyman" five times in in front of a mirror, a now undead Sherman will come to murder those who called for him through this little ritual.

Now inspired to do a collection based on the Candyman legend and racial tension, Anthony develops an art exhibit with the help of his art gallery director girlfriend, Brianna Cartwright. The resulting showcase, unfortunately, wasn't the buzzing success he was hoping it would be, but Anthony will soon find out that he may have unleashed something powerful when those who tried calling out for Candyman start to get horribly murdered and he himself appears to be deteriorating physically after a bee stung him. Soon, Anthony learns the horrific truth about his past and what fate awaits him back at Cabrini-Green...

Let me just go on the record and say that I love the idea that Candyman here is, as described in the film, a hive. It just fits the killer's nature as an urban legend embodied, how there will never be only one version of the tale and that there's always be a varying take based on whoever's telling them, all the while the strongest key elements remain the same. The Candyman is no longer just a lone murderer from beyond the grave in this movie, but is now also a catalyst that leads to people like Sherman Fields and many other African American figures hinted later, all victims of prejudice and racial hate, to wear the cloak and wield the hook.

This is a wide and welcome move to expand the world behind the iconic supernatural slasher and I really wished Candyman (2021) found a way to make this work into the story to full effect but thanks to the writing's lack of cohesiveness and focus, and too its missed opportunities to be subtle and flair, this lore ended up something closer to a footnote that wouldn't come up again until the near end where it may have gone a little too on-the-nose with what it is implying. 

Until then, we're practically treated with a supernatural psychological mystery that hovers mostly on our main lead's ties to the Candyman legend and his declining state the further he delves into the rabbit hole, coupled with slasher murders and body horror nightmares. I will say that this attempt of a mystery is as predictable and basic as the characters involved (If you already saw The Midnight Meat Train (2008) and The Devil's Candy (2015), then you may have a clue or two what troubles our artist lead is heading to), even leaving some doors open and just hang them there without any form of resolution or point, but at least it is comfortable enough to sit through as your typical slasher story and the talents involved, particularly Yahya Abdul-Mateen II, Teyonah Parris and Colman Domingo as Anthony, Brianna and William Burke respectively, did all their best to put out a fine performance despite the standard characterizations. 

Visually, Candyman (2021) is a real treat to the eyes at its best, probably the movie's strongest point with its stylized depictions of the Candyman murders, the history surrounding the figure and even the legend himself; when it needs to be bloody, it gets real bloody, but the film isn't shy on experimenting with what can be done without overly relying on anything graphic on screen. The result is a lot of striking compositions of shots and sounds, among the best being a massacre in a girl's bathroom wherein we can see just a glimpse of a floating Candyman through a bloodied compact mirror, as well as an eerily shot death of a critic who we see gets lifted and murdered above ground by an invisible force while the camera pans away.

Intriguing to note, too, how the Candyman is shown here as he barely appeared completely on the flesh whenever he kills and he's depicted instead as a shadow, a reflection in the background or, as mentioned prior, just an unseen force drags you away to be hooked from groin to gullet.  Whenever he does appear onscreen, he's more of a specter and an omen haunting Anthony, a sort of foreshadow of things to come doubled as your classic, creepy grinning spook straight out of your ghost stories. If there's anything more to praise, the last few shots of the Candyman are probably the most memorable for me; just a floating man in a coat, a hook for a hand and a swarm of bees for a head. That's Eldritch imagery at its best and I love it!

The use of shadow puppets is also a creative touch I come to really like from the film, perfectly bringing the folkloric touch out of the legends and stories about he who is the writing on the wall, the whisper in the classroom. Add the fact that the ending credits is also a short puppet show featuring all the previous variants of the Candyman just makes the overall film a little bit better despite the flaws.

A far cry from being the perfect companion piece to the original Candyman (well, for me at least), Candyman (2021) is still a commendable ole' "college try" to bring back and partially re-invent a horror icon for the modern audience. It has a good eye on style and atmosphere, plus an interesting take on a slasher heavyweight's mythos, just be prepared for some loose, unresolved and kinda undercooked ends.

1 male beaten to death (flashback)
1 female had her throat cut with a hook
1 male had his heel hooked, later found disemboweled
1 male jumps out of a window (flashback)
1 female had her head smashed and dragged across a window
1 female slaughtered offcamera with a hook
1 female slaughtered offcamera with a hook
1 female slaughtered offcamera with a hook
1 female slaughtered offcamera with a hook
1 female slaughtered with a hook (flashback)
1 male stabbed to death with a box cutter
1 male shot dead
1 male seen walking out with a gashed neck
1 male slashed across the gut with a hook
1 male had his throat slashed with a hook
1 male slashed across with a hook
1 male hacked on the back with a hatchet(animation)
1 boy executed via electric chair (animation)
1 male tied behind a truck, dragged to death (animation)
1 male hacked on the back with a hook (animation)
1 male hacked on the head with a hook (animation)
1 male ran through the back with a hook (animation)
1 male snared and murdered with a hook (animation)
Total: 23

Monday, September 13, 2021

Cut Out The Cancer: Malignant (2021)

Malignant (2021)
Rating: ****
Starring: Annabelle Wallis, Maddie Hasson and George Young

When it comes to James Wan, I like a lot of his horror films as I see the kind of fanfare I typically enjoy in my fright flicks: crazy B-grade goodness with creepy moments, fun jump scares and expressive camera work. Fortunately for us, Malignant, Wan's little supernatural love letter to giallo and slasher cinema (and then some), delivers all the goods you would expect in a great bodycounter with a little more extra for that positively insane movie experience!

Starting the scene in 1993, at the Simion Research Hospital, where a group of doctors go through a harrowing attack from an obscured patient named Gabriel who somehow has the ability to control electricity, broadcast thoughts through airwaves and overpower anyone twice their size. The staff eventually subdue the vile thing with a dart gun and, hoping to finally stop the patient's increasing threat, prepare Gabriel for surgery to "cut out the cancer".

Forwarding twenty-eight years later, a pregnant woman named Madison Lake gets the rough end of a strained and growingly abusive relationship with her husband Derek Mitchell when he beats her head against a wall, arguing at her about the futility of them having children since Madison appears to be prone to miscarriages. As night falls, something otherworldly invades the couple's residence and gruesomely murders Mitchell before going after Madison, knocking her unconscious during the attack. By the time she comes through, responding police has rescued her and she's taken to a nearby hospital, where she is informed by her sister Sydney that, devastatingly, her unborn baby didn't survive the ordeal. 

It wasn't until two weeks later though, when a recovering Madison returns to her home, that everything shifts for the far worse; she quickly learns that whatever has targeted her during that home invasion is far from done terrorizing her life as visions of savage murders and monstrously taunting phone calls start plaguing her days and nights. The more the bodycount rises, the more Madison and Sydney, as well as Kekoa Shaw and Regina Moss, a pair of detectives looking into the murders, start to piece together a grim puzzle and untangle a dark past involving medical horrors and a familiar violent entity that goes by "Gabriel".

Albeit the tone can be a bit (if not mostly) all over the place, it does befit the craziness Malignant wallows in and it is put to good use as Wan embraced the absurdity of the movie's premise to give us the outrageously energetic madness that is this hodge-podge of supernatural horror, brutal slashings, body horror, medical nightmare and, yes, even a little bit of creature feature. It isn't without its own rusty cogs and drawbacks, of course, such as the characters being a little dim, holes on the plot and the twist being anything but close to original (I can tell two other slashers that already did it, though I cannot say which as it'll spoil the fun. You might get it once you see it, though), but the manically stylized execution and wild, increasingly no-holds-barred direction undoubtedly make this film a real popcorn horror treat.

As the director himself put it, Malignant is a horror film made for horror fans, so it doesn't come as any surprise that it has genre homages in every nook and cranny; there are giallo influences pretty much present within the movie's cinematography as well as the villain's get-up and the home invasion around the first act even has its little slice of ghostly scares for that supernatural creepiness. But what really brought home the fun factor for me is the ridiculous levels of campy creative choices and hammy dialogue that certainly place this movie around the same plate as cheesed-up 80s slashers and monster movies, especially with its Eyes of Laura Mars (1978)-inspired victim/killer shared visions and a bodycount going monumental by the second half courtesy of a police station massacre that rivals The Terminator (1984) or Maniac Cop 2 (1990), committed through the hands of a maniac with a rather interesting concept and design focused on limberness and flexibility in all the wrong way. (Oh, and random electricity-based powers. That's a thing you get for being that, apparently) It's crazy, without a doubt, but as everything is done with a straight face and a semi-serious banter, the half-and-half subtle tongue-in-cheek is just made twice the better!

This being said, those looking to see sober scares may want to look elsewhere as the movie's clearly made with the intention to be darkly playful and littered with dismembered body parts. What else is there to say but James Wan really let it all loose in Malignant and I am happy to say that the resulting gory, campy and thrilling little devil is destined to be a bonafide cult classic!

1 female smashed against a door, killed
1 female found murdered
1 female found murdered
1 male had his head internally decapitated
1 female beaten to death with a trophy
1 male stabbed and carved to death with a weaponized trophy
1 male found slaughtered to death with a weaponized trophy
1 female had her neck torn open
1 female clawed through the gut
1 female stomped on the head
1 female had her neck broken
10 females slaughtered offcamera
1 female thumbed on the eyes, used as a human shield and shot dead
1 male repeatedly beaten against iron cell bars
1 female found murdered
1 male found murdered
1 male found murdered
1 male stabbed through the back with a weaponized trophy
1 male had his throat slashed with a weaponized trophy
1 male stabbed through the gut with a weaponized trophy
1 male shot with a shotgun
1 male used as a human shield, shot dead
1 male stabbed through the neck with a weaponized trophy
1 female stabbed through the head with a weaponized trophy
4 victims seen murdered
1 male stabbed in the gut with a weaponized trophy
1 male stabbed through the neck with a weaponized trophy
1 male slashed across the neck with a weaponized trophy
1 male stabbed with a weaponized trophy
1 male stabbed with a weaponized trophy
1 male slashed across the throat with a weaponized trophy
2 males seen murdered
1 male had his pacemaker supernaturally cooked, explodes out of his chest
Total: 46

Also, "Cocky-Knockers"

Monday, September 6, 2021

Short Shear Terror: Trapped At Boarding School (1983)

Trapped At Boarding School (Denmark, 1983 Short) (AKA "Attrap 1980")
Rating: **1/2
Starring: Michael Andersen, Søren Børgesen and Erik Jensen

One of the things I enjoy about reviewing slasher films is that, at times, I get to find and watch little rusty gems like this whenever I search for movies to try. 

Made in the early 80s by a younger Heini Grünbaum who some of us would remember directed the straight-to-video 2000 Danish slasher Flænset (AKA "Shredded"), Trapped At Boarding School tells a simple, dialogue-less story of a teen enduring his stay at a boarding school as a trio of nasty bullies abuse him whenever they get the chance. One day, the teen had enough, dons a mask and starts stalking them down one by one.

Not gonna sugar coat the low and gritty quality of the movie as this is an obscure 1980s 8MM short edited from a 49 minute original footage, but Trapped At Boarding School does feel a little genuine in its approach of being an easy-to-digest slasher short. Looking past the sun-bleached picture quality, patchy acting and pacing, as well as its cheap editing with John Carpenter's Halloween theme ripped for that extra frugal feel, the short is still a fairly fun watch as an 80s time capsule of do-it-yourself horror effort; the story is quick and easy, the kills are fairly bloody and the direction has a style and vision that at least aim to be creepy and messed up despite the lack of any spoken lines.

It might be a far cry from being a great short, Trapped At Boarding School is at least an enjoyable little slice of foreign vintage slasher goodness that delivers enough bodycounting goodies for a casual horror fan. See it if you like!

1 male hacked on the back with a hatchet
1 male hacked on the gut with a hatchet
1 male repeatedly hacked on the chest with a hatchet
Total: 3

Monday, August 30, 2021

Bite Sized Giallo Bits: Body Puzzle (1992)

Body Puzzle (Italy, 1992) (AKA "Misteria")
Rating: ***1/2
Starring: Joanna Pacula, Tomas Arana and François Montagut

A 90s giallo affair from Demons (1985) director Lamberto Bava, Body Puzzle starts with a frustrated pianist (François Montagut) showing off some talent on the ivory keys as he recalls a tragic rainy night many years ago, involving a friend in a motorbike fatally crashing during a car chase. This flashback somehow ignites a murderous spark from the man and his first victim is a candy store owner who he knifes to death before slicing off an ear.

Tracy (Joanna Pacula), a young widow grieving over her brother's recent passing, gruesomely finds out that she has caught the attention of our killer when not only did she discovers the dismembered hearing organ in her fridge, but her late husband's grave was also found defiled and his body missing. This prompts Detective Michele (Tomas Arana), lead investigator of the case, to question her possible ties to the killer as it appears the madman has to have full access to her home in order to leave the body part so easily. Tracy cannot recall or think much of anybody mad enough to twistedly harass her like this, though she fears that she will be targeted next the further this escalates.

And, true enough, the killer strikes again and again, taking parts from each victim and leaving it for Tracy to find, even after she moved to her parent's mansion under heavy police surveillance. Just who is this killer and why is he offering her all of these freshly harvested body parts? 

As far as Italian giallo affairs go, Body Puzzle mostly hit its good notes when it comes to horror set-pieces, plenty of them coming from the murders committed by our seemingly random loon for how savage and dark yet outrageous they can get; one moment he's simply knifing a candy store owner to death, next would have him stalking a lady into a mall's loo to hack off her hand with a hatchet or offing a teacher in front of an entire classroom full of blind children listening to some badly narrated fairy tale. There's certainly a sense of finesse and black humor laid out in the film's direction to keep things as interesting as they can be, something I find passable even if the ridiculousness contrasts with the intriguingly twisted conundrum behind our killer's motive a tad too close into poking fun at itself sometimes.

At most, Body Puzzle tries to maintain a straight-faced story despite the cheesier instances. I love the mystery's concept wherein we already know what the killer looks like and that we're just left hanging as to why is he killing people to collect parts from them. Sadly, the abundance of plot holes and incredibly lackluster police work cheapened the impact of the story's development, more so when the movie finally reveals in the near end the twist of the whole situation. Without giving away much, it opened more questions than answer them, one of which being the ineptness of the coroner when they were embalming that body and how much legal trouble would they get for that mistake. 

Nevertheless, Body Puzzle remains wholly entertaining albeit its flaws when one would account its unintentional hilarity and cheese. I mean, how often do you find yourself watch a killer hide inside a freezer full of meat (and a corpsicle) for a surprise attack just on that slim chance someone might open it, or have sped-up shots of casual drives be passed as "car chases"? There are times half-witted jiffs like these are what save movies from being dull and this one definitely have more than enough to leave a good impression without completely straying away from being dark, macabre and stabby. 

Not exactly the finest giallo out of Bava's filmography (I would bravely give Midnight Killer (1986) and Delirium (1987) that title), but it's a divertingly fun puzzler of a horror thriller to a degree and that's okay on my book!

1 male killed in a vehicular accident
1 male knifed to death
1 female had a hand chopped off with a hatchet, later found gutted
1 male castrated with a knife whilst swimming, bled to death
1 female had her throat cut, eyes plucked out
1 male crashes unto a car, killed in collision 
Total: 6

Wednesday, August 11, 2021

Go Home: Turistas (2006)

Turistas (2006) (AKA "Paradise Lost")
Rating: ***
Starring: Josh Duhamel, Melissa George and Olivia Wilde

Around mid-2000s, the horror scene seems to had a small trend going on with tourists being terrorized by malicious people as seen in the likes of Eli Roth's Hostel movies and the infamous Ozploitation cult classic Wolf Creek (2005). Hot on this bloody hike trail was a little affair set in Brazil wherein a group of turistas must survive the dark and gritty side of paradise.

After a narrow escape from being potential bus crash casualties caused by a speedy driver and a very steep drop off a cliff, friends Bea and Amy, Bea’s chaperoning older brother Alex, Australian backpacker Pru and a pair of British buddies Finn and Liam decided to stroll down to a nearby beach bar after being notified that the next bus won't be around for another 10 hours. The place looks and feels legit enough for our newly acquainted gang to loosen up and have fun, drinking til' night time after a day of swimming, playing soccer with local children and hooking-up with Brazilian hotties. 

The movie, though, makes no attempt to hide the fact shit's about to go down when a barmaid secretly phones a shady doctor after doing a headcount on the foreigners. Morning comes and not only do our gang find out they were drugged unconscious that night, but all of their belongings were also stolen. Now stranded with nothing but the clothes on their backs, they wander into the nearest town hoping to find help, which they eventually did with Kiko, a local man they met a day prior at the beach. 

Kiko agrees to lead them to another man named Zamora who lives up in a jungle-set private house and appears to have enough connections and money to help them out of their predicament. Things only go for worse from this point as halfway into their journey, Kiko injures himself severely, thus leaving the group to hobble him up to Zamora's residence where they find out the man operates an organ harvesting ring, thus he has no intention at all on letting them leave Brazil alive.

Though low-key, the slasher elements in Turistas (2006) are present in the sense that the villains aren't shy on keeping the kill count stabby once in a while and, too, that the film has some pretty decent stalking scenes thrown here and there. It's not very often we get a slasher movie set deep in a dense tropical jungle, so it is refreshing to see this film make a fair attempt incorporating the deadly cat-and-mouse trope the subgenre is well known for with the scenic backdrop of Brazil's sandy beaches and forested wilderness. 

These facts aside, however, the overall feel of the movie leans much closer to a crime thriller laced with a horror aftertaste and medical nightmares; though Turistas (2006) has its brutal and shocking moments (particularly the demise of a Swedish couple and one unfortunate henchmen's bad end with a wooden skewer), is noticeably restrained as it exchanges most of the stomach-churning exploitative horror elements with a bigger emphasis on survivalist ventures, by-the-book vivisections and our leads' escape from their captors, not much unlike our boys back in Hostel (2005)'s fictionalized Bratislava. For what it is, the movie is a passable survival thriller, tight in tension and sparing some moments of realism even if it's still unable to escape a few parts being mediocre and predictable, which hinders the ramifications of the threat as a whole. 

Turistas (2006) would certainly have fared better, too, if it took the time to work out its premise, perhaps flesh out its characters further than the cardboard cut-outs that we have here. As expected for a movie dealing with stereotyped representations, the film is unsurprisingly bashed with controversy around Brazil for how it depicted its citizens as well. The resulting product, by the grace of it all, could have been way worse nonetheless and I would be lying if I say I didn't enjoy Turistas (2006) as a small guilty pleasure. 

1 male hacked to death with a machete
1 female ran off a cliff, falls to her death
1 male gets a wooden skewer forced into his eye
1 female operated on and disemboweled
1 male stabbed to death with a machete
1 male shot on the head with a rifle
1 male killed offscreen
1 male shot on the neck
1 male repeatedly stabbed on the neck with an arrow
1 male beaten with a rock, shot on the head with a rifle
Total: 10