Here is a guest post from a friend of ours – Todd Russell ( http://toddrwrite.com/).
As a horror writer I’m sometimes asked what kind of horror disturbs me. In literary form and movie form, similar rules apply: the unexpected, unknown, something I don’t see coming and something I’ve been preconditioned to dread.
The past year I’ve seen two horror flicks that got me in two different ways. One went for the gross-out factor – which BTW, gross-out alone doesn’t work — but this movie worked on adding a creepy ambiance with gross-out: that’s The Human Centipede. The other, Dead Snow, was a first for me: watching a movie that was completely sub-titled and blended two things (Nazis and zombies) I hadn’t seen done previously.
Let’s take Dead Snow first. This group of young adults decide to have some fun out in the snowy woods. Of course they meet up with some weird guy who tells them about some spooky legend they should have known about before coming there, that’s all standard horror movie schlock. Young stupid adults ripe for the slaughter. I would have gone for the off switch there had it not been for the hook.
Nazi zombies in the snow.
Now why a bunch of Nazis would be buried under the snow soon takes backseat to the Nazi zombie’s insatiable drive. Nazi zombies with a penchant for gold and precious jewelry. Somewhat reminiscent of the silly, not scary, Leprechaun movies. But what’s more scary to you? A leprechaun or a bunch of Nazi zombies?
Don’t stop there.
These Nazi zombies aren’t just your typical lumbering, brain hungry zombies, they are motivated and organized by their zombie-fied furor. To tease, but not spoil, viewers are treated to a man’s head ripped in half as one of the first Nazi zombie hideous misdeeds. It’s not long before I got lost in this movie, forgetting that I didn’t understand a word anybody was saying. I stopped reading the subtitles because after the somewhat boring opening it was on. And then we viewers don’t care, just show us more Nazi zombie carnage. More, more, more.
Dead Snow isn’t in the league of The Shining, Halloween or The Thing, but at times it is unexpected. It’s also available for Netflix streaming, so get yourself some snow, subtitles and Nazi zombies.
Moving on, The Human Centipede has two young girls getting stuck in the woods with this weird doctor inviting them into what viewers know can only end badly. They are wet, good looking, wanting to get out of the rain, so why not spike their drinks? Next thing we know they’re waking up on an exam table along with angry Japanese guy. The doctor is calm as he runs through the medical process he’s about to put the horrified threesome through. He’s talking cutting the back of their legs so they are more comfortable crawling around on their knees and then sewing two of their faces to the rectums of the others creating a human centipede. This is one of the scariest scenes in the movie, watching the doctor when like he’s on the lecture circuit. Here’s what I’m going to do, and this, and this, and this.
Oh, that’s not the worst part. When the guy in front eats he passes it through the other two and our doctor urges him to, “eat, eat!”
This reminded me in a repulsive sort of way of a Jim Rose freak show act I saw where the guy offered the audience a chance to drink bile beer. He’d run a tube through his stomach and then use this pump to pull out stomach contents to mix with beer so people in the audience could come up and drink the concoction. You haven’t heard of Matt the “Fucking” Tube Crowley? Pearl Jam’s Eddie Vedder is a believer, he drinks Matt’s bile beer in this YouTube video:
So what kind of horror disturbs you?
Todd Russell started writing at a young age and has honed his bizarre style along the likes of Rod Serling, Robert R. McCammon, and Stephen King. Mental Shrillness, a collection of six twist ending horror stories, is his first book. An Amazon reviewer writes: “I was appalled … the stories are horrifying, disturbing and nauseating at times. I recommend Mental Shrillness to adult readers to challenge themselves on how strange a story they can handle.” You can follow Todd’s work at http://toddrwrite.com/