Monday, October 1, 2012

Night of Terror #1: Splatter Farm "Slash" An Introduction

Believe it or not, it's been 11 months since the last night of terror. Didn't that just fly by? So now we're going to reapply our rictus grins and start again fresh, with either a horror classic or a "horror classic," depending on who you ask. It's 1986's Splatter Farm, a shot-on-video micro-budgeted horror smorgasbord from the frighteningly prolific Polonia brothers - identical twins who went on to have a healthy career making really disgusting horror movies that only 2 or 3 dozen weirdos in the world would ever even dream of watching.

Splatter Farm is their debut feature, and I can't in good conscience pretend to be one of those weirdos, even though sometimes I'd like to be. I hadn't even heard of this movie before about a week ago, when I found out it was going to be the next feature in my beloved Video Hate Squad, a series of VHS-only films screened at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin (just so you don't think I'm a corporate shill I will add that I ordered one of their new milkshakes and it tasted like shit, just absolute shit). I figured that would be as good a title as any with which to kick off my season of horror movies. What could go wrong?

Well, like I said before, even though I love horror movies, I feel like Splatter Farm belongs to the bottom circle of horror hell where only the absolutely fearless and deranged dare tread. The content is just abominable, covering everything from gruesome decapitations, to incest, to date rape, to child murder, to the very serious social epidemic of chopping off a dead body's hand and using it to masturbate. Seriously, how many public figures do we have to see chopping off the hands of dead bodies and using them to masturbate before we the people will take a stand? Just because something is done doesn't make it right.

That doesn't even begin to capture the discomfort and feverish-nightmare quality that goes into a viewing of the original uncut Splatter Farm. There is a definite charm behind the homemade quality of this movie - it's not a cynical pander to the lowest common denominator, and it was self-evidently a labor of love for all involved. But it's also horror cinema for people who are tired of even the vaguest pretense of art and/or quality, and who just want to be assaulted with disgusting brutality for a little over an hour. Maybe one day, if I work hard enough, I will finally be one of them.

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