Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Ogroff the Mad Mutilator review

Ogroff the Mad Mutilator

Ahhh the French countryside; a picturesque landscape of lush green and gentle roaming knolls of moss and grass and all those little things that feel good to the soul.   Many poets and writers find themselves inspired to create poems and songs about the natural beauty of the French country and its old world charm.  In 1983 it inspired Robert Georges Mount to write and direct the low fidelity splatter masterpiece Ogroff the Mad Mutilator.  Much like the French countryside Ogroff the Mad Mutilator is good for the soul.

Ogroff doesn’t feel like it has a true beginning or end, a plot, or any hint of subtlety.  The movie has about ten lines of dialogue and that might be an overestimation; ten seemed like too much.  This could have been a silent film.  The sound effects seem to have been dubbed from another film and the special effects consist of corn syrup blood, some caked on zombie makeup, and a toy car thrown in a sink.

Ogroff is less of an actual story than a series of loosely strung together events in the life and times of the great French woodsman Ogroff.  Ogroff kills a young nubile girl in the forest with a hatchet to the chest.  Ogroff slays some chess players and disassembles a VW Beetle with a pick axe.  Ogroff masturbates with his axe.  Ogroff sips on cannibal stew.  Ogroff captures and tortures a chick.  Ogroff listens to electonica.  Ogroff gets in a chainsaw duel.  Ogroff feeds a man gore from his own severed leg.  Ogroff courts a wife.  Ogroff unleashes a zombie holocaust.  Ogroff gets stabbed in the back with his own hatchet.  Ogroff walks off into the sunset, head hung low.  The end credits rolled.  My mind is blown.

Ogroff the Mad Mutilator is basement budget gore fiend film making at its finest.  What it lacks in budget it makes up in horror nerd enthusiasm and a kitchen sink approach to guerilla film making.  If your film drags throw some zombies in the mix.  How about a vampire?  Why NOT have give the audience what they want; chainsaw duels and gore, gore, GORE.  Ogroff is literally one of the most entertaining and bizarre films I have ever witnessed, nay experienced.  And there isn’t a whiff of professionalism about it. 

That’s not to say it won’t require a heaping dose of patience to endure Ogroff the Mad Mutilator.  Ogroff eats up a lot of film time just bumping around his shed.  There are long shots of a car pulling over to the side of the road, about ten minutes of watching people play chess in the woods, it takes at least another five for Ogroff to kill them and systematically destroy their car.  When the movie abruptly switches from a slasher to Night of the Living Dead we are treated to even longer shots of zombies walking through the French meadows, zombies crossing creaks, zombies stopping in front of the camera to growl and show off their makeup.  It ends with a vampire attacking Ogroff’s estranged wife, which seems to fit into the maddening slap dash setup of Ogroff quite nicely.

It should come as no surprise that the movie was made by a French video store clerk with his pals, but that only adds to the charm of it for me.  It’s a true blue horror aficionado doing what he loves and it’s entertaining me 31 years after the fact; that’s something special that can’t be Hollywood-ized or marketed or canned and distributed.  If you are reading this chances are this film was made for you.  Isn’t that nice?  It’s a love letter to gorehounds and VHS video vores.  The passion for Z-grade film making a cheese is prevalent throughout Ogroff; the enthusiasm practically oozes from the screen.  It makes me warm and cozy with the idea that if I were to ever make a slasher I’d take the Ogroff approach.       

Thursday, April 10, 2014


 STAGE FRIGHT limited edition blu ray release....

I'm late to the party, but apparently a new boo-ray release of this movie is out there in the void.  Seek it out my skull crushing cretins and let ole Cropsy know what the dealio is.

Saints preserve us; it’s Stage Fright the Euro-splatter-trash feature that never strays too far from the gutter, and I love it for it.  Ripe at the spandex seams with golden cheesy goodness, Stage Fright is a brutal mash up of American power drill horror and Italian giallo panache sure to sate any slash-head’s fiendish appetite for decapitations and dismemberment.  Stage Fright centers around a night of mayhem as a crew of off color thespians (including a Sting look alike, and a flamboyant homosexual dancer) are chopped to bits by the maniac owl masked killer Irving Wallace in a locked down theatre.  I bet “reheating tacos at Mexico Joes” doesn’t sound so bad to these struggling actors with Irving Wallace on their scent; some choice cuts include the chainsaw evisceration of a pregnant chick, a loin to groin power drilling, and the classic decapitation by axe maneuver.     

There are some quieter moments in the film that seem to acknowledge the movies trashier influences; the director of the play within the play explains his production as a feature about “the victim raping the murderer”, a shameless ploy at shocking people out of their money.  He seems to understand that people want to see death and will pay to see it, going as far as to exploit the death of a recently murdered cast member to drum up interest in his stage production.  Between all the movie’s interpretive dancing and wailing saxophone playing we are treated to a scene of a nurse closely watching a fish devour other smaller fish in a neon lit tank in a mental asylum and aside from the fact that fish tanks were en vogue during the 80’s I can’t help but wonder if the director is again bringing attention to people’s morbid fascination with watching death unfold.  A stray black cat named “Lucifer” witnesses the entire night of horror as Irving picks off the cast one by one.  Perhaps dubbing the cat with the demonic surname “Lucifer” is a sly jab at the audience, seeing as how the feline seemingly occupies the same logistical space as the viewer.     

Whatever the case, the main focus of the film is on the splattering red stuff, not on some ham fisted moral message about feeling guilty about watching exploitive horror yarns, so sit back, relax, watch the feathers fly, and get hit “right between the eyes” with Stage Fright.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

You're Next shirt from FRIGHT-RAGS!

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Ogroff the Mad Mutilator

I've found a new obsession.  OGROFF I LOVE YOU!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

TCM coming back to theaters!

Texas Chainsaw Massacre is coming back to theaters with a brand new transfer.  Count me interested, even though I feel like that film benefits from the dirt and gristle.  I heard the new restoration keeps the grime but also manages to look better, with better sound to boot.  We shall see mon frers!  No date is set for the release at this time.

Makes me want to chainsaw dance!

Saturday, March 15, 2014

Jason's Old Fashoned Deli

I'd go to this deli!

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Meanwhile under Camp Blackfoot.....

Tommy’s eyes were blind in the dark, his hands were tied, but his sense of smell was unbound and cataloging his surroundings at frantic animal speed.  What was most pronounced was his own sweat, his damp dirty shirt slogged against his chest as it heaved in the dry air of the underground.  He wafted the thunderous smell of shit; he was sitting in a heap of his own making, and stirred in another desperate attempt to free himself.  Behind him a face pruned from deep scar tissue made its impression of a smile.

Tommy’s breathing hitched and rattled loudly in his ears, he wondered briefly if it was the acoustics of the underground tomb or his own pitched fright.  He tried desperately to turn his head to see his assailant as the creature, the shape of a man thing, adjusted something behind him.  He heard the click of metal, of lubed joints sliding against a frictionless surface, the tiny hiss of hydraulics as a tripod was extended.  A terrifying, single thought exploded in his mind, drowning out all others.  He’s going to torture me, and film it.  He’s going to make a snuff movie out of me.

Tommy could feel his eyes bulge in their sockets, veins popping by the dozen, as a fresh stream of tears rushed down his cheek, clearing a little clean path through the muck and dirt that had stuck to his face.  A whimper escaped from the bloody gag stuffed in his mouth.  In return he heard a dry rasp of a sand paper laugh from behind him, from the creature, from the thing that took him to his foul place. Tommy had already resigned himself to think of it as his grave.  He was old enough to understand the sad story the news told each evening when someone disappeared, even if his mornings were still full of Bugs Bunny and Daffy Duck.

The creature worked diligently in the dark; it needed little light to see, and even less to feel his way around.  Tommy briefly heard thin plastic flapping like bat wings, a series of switches flipped with clicks, something fitted snuggly in a metal carriage as a metallic clasp rang out in the dust choked air.  His abductor grunted in satisfaction, a harsh toneless sound that gave Tommy goose flesh.

Suddenly the room filled with the deafening roar of an ancient projector firing up, hot angry light spilling from its front lens, a thousand tiny gears spun and sputtered as cross hairs painted the screen in front of Tommy.  He felt like they were pointed at him.  A quick count down backwards from 10 ran on the screen.  Tommy could feel his sanity slip away in the dark with each count.  10…9….8…7…the anticipation was too great, his mind under too much restraint.  He prayed to fall suddenly unconscious.  Oh to drift into slumber only to awake in his own bed, another bad nightmare exorcised in the safety of his bunk bed.  Anything to escape whatever came next.  The axe was falling and he didn’t want to see it.  God help him he couldn’t stand to see it…

And then, with his captor so close to him he could feel his foul hot breath on the back on his neck, the hair standing tall, quivering in the breeze of that rancid mouth; he hears a rumbling whisper so faint it could hardly be heard under the roar of the antique film projector “Let the show begin…”