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.