Girls and Corpses DVD reviews

We have tons of DVDs stacking up here at the Girls and Corpses headquarters. Frankly, most of them reek like a bloated corpse in a Louisiana swamp in July. But a few rose to the top of our bile, and we felt they were worth reviewing.

The marvel of digital is that everyone can now enjoy the pleasures of becoming a filmmaker. The bad news is the same as above. We understand that the production values of these backyard independent films are rarely good. Let’s face it: 90 percent of them stink. Still, it is enjoyable to watch these movies and observe the director trying to tell his story with production values under his control.

Our corpsepondant James Spinner takes a few horror DVD’s for a spin:

The Bisbee Cannibal Club

A Bill Robertson Film

Directed and written by Bill Robertson, The Bisbee Cannibal Club gets a major boost through extensive dialogue successfully edited into interesting location shots. Bill really wants to tell a story and has the chops.

The Bisbee Cannibal Club is basically a black-and-white case of the good guys versus bad guys—the hunters and the cannibals. Everyone appears to be aware of the cannibals yet only the hunters seem to be hunting them down. Vegetarians are being abducted and it must be stopped. The hunters move from place to place, tracking the cannibals down and disposing of them. An interesting note here is that the cannibals are mainly armed with baseball bats, which they use to bring their victims down, while the hunters have guns.

The Bisbee Cannibal Club is mostly shot in natural light. The musical score drowns out the dialogue and is a little noisy, but workable. The acting is consistently not great, with a few standouts in the large cast. The actors carry the story rather successfully towards the end of the tale. Good writing, locations and continuity throughout.

The gross-out moments are another plus to Bill’s direction, and there are plenty: A cat’s head used as a croquet ball, a tampon used for drinking blood, a long vomiting sequence, finger-eating, a slit throat, head bashing, chainsaw dismemberment, excited drooling, rump roast, and urination on carcass. Although fun, these shocking, vivid scenes avoid overtaking the story. Eventually, we discover the full allure of the vegetarian victim.

3 out of 5 Corpsies


“How far would you go to survive?” (er... this movie?)

A Dan Donley Film

Dan Donley gives us the story of a doctor whose only option for his and other victims’ survival of a life-threatening virus is an extreme surgery.

For a film that has been in a dozen film festivals, I was expecting more. The main attraction must be the overall focus of this film, which is based around surgical torture. And torture it is. Shellter’s director was highly influenced by films like Saw and Hostel. The film depicts graphic violence and torture through the lens of surgery and the use of simple makeup effects. If you’re only interested in seeing torture effects, go ahead and watch this movie—enjoy.

Otherwise, take note: the film is loosely assembled. Shot in only a few rooms of an isolated area, the story moves along at a zombie’s pace. The comical overacting takes away any potential scares, and there is little plot or character development. The layout reminds one of a haunted house set up in separate rooms, where each room has a mysterious victim who appears from nowhere. The patient/victim is molested and attacked by the deranged doctor, body parts flying. Nothing really connects these scenes.

Shellter is written and shot with the quality of gonzo torture porn—only the sex has been edited out. Boo.

2 of out 5 Corpsies


A film By Pete Jacelone

Sculpture is a fun to watch, exploitative, gore escape.

The plot: If a teenager is exposed to mental trauma, jealously, murder, incest and misguided love, then satisfaction can be achieved by designing and creating the perfect man at the gym member’s expense. Huh? With its simple psychological story, Sculpture is quite entertaining, though low budget.

The story begins when Ashley Steele, an artist played by Raine Brown, returns home after several years’ absence for her father’s funeral. Meeting her brother, who now runs her father’s gym, and other friends from her past eventually brings out the worst in Ashley. The ongoing activities all seem to be caused by trauma endured during her teenage years. Ashley is soon approached by a gallery to put on an art exhibit. An old friend of Ashley’s, played by Misty Mundae, suggests an idea for the art exhibit. With the occurrence of a physical encounter, and a date that has emotionally gone wrong, the madness begins full throttle. Ashley sets out designing the perfect man for the upcoming gallery show. Sculpture is essentially a movie about Raine Brown’s emotionally deranged crazy lady character. It’s a gore fest inspired by the bodybuilding hunks working at Steele’s Gym.

The scenes of assault are articulated by interesting cuts and edits. The soundtrack is a major plus. Composed by Anthony Belluscio the music does an excellent job setting the moods with the visuals. But the close-ups of the body parts overplayed the special effects. After the long buildup toward the gallery exhibit, I felt tricked. The sculpture designed by Ashley’s creative madness is not clearly shown; here the close-up visuals could have complimented the audience reactions.

4 out of 5 Corpsies

Pop Skull

An Adam Wingard Film

Pop Skull deals with emotion, pill popping and spiritual haunting. This all revolves around the main character’s breakup with his girlfriend. Lane Huges plays an emotionally confused, pill popping and haunted victim whose own depression from the relationship brought the troubles on. Lane does a fairly good job delivering his angst, and brings you into the emotional depths of someone fighting a major case of depression, which sets the story in motion.

The assemblage of the movie as a whole did not work for me. Though I enjoyed the soundtrack, the music pulls the story into a drug vibe, when the story is actually a solid foundation for depicting a drastic case of depression. The strobe light effects are also a complete overkill and a major distraction. The haunted dream effects do not help the story. Take out the ghosts and strobe and flash effects, calm down the music and there’s a fairly good emotional story driving towards a major psychological breakdown, which could have been developed.

Staying with and developing the devastating story of dealing with only the depression of the relationship breakup could have been a stronger story than the drug addictive, ghost/horror approach.

On the brighter side are the DVD extras. There are at least six shorts that are very enjoyable and are worth your time to watch.

2 out of 5 Corpsies

Ninja vs. Zombies

A Justin Timpane film

Have you ever had days where everything you attempt just turns to shit? Your search for employment is unfulfilled, you get no appreciation at the job that you have been with too long, and the local bullies are trying to push you around. Your life sucks and it appears as if your world is a nightmare. Characters transforming into zombies and ninjas create such a nightmarish world in the film Ninja vs. Zombies.

Written, produced, directed, and edited by Justin Timpane, Ninja vs. Zombies is that perfect mind popcorn for a Saturday night: an entertaining film pitting a warlock and his ninjas against a soul taker and his hundreds of zombie followers.

Plot: A man summons “the book” to raise his brother from the grave. The risen brother becomes a soul taker and his zombie-making actions need to be stopped. The living brother needs help to stop the soul taker and goes back to “the book,” which releases the force of the ninja to his friends. The war is on and the soul-taking zombies must be crushed!

The actors in this film are, frankly, not all that promising, appearing to consist of drafted neighborhood friends. However, a couple of them do attempt to develop characters with some personality beneath their soul makeup, which is only smeared blood. This is not a film for the zombie gore fan.

There is an excellent musical score as well as songs throughout. A few of the scenes are quite interestingly designed, and the fight sequences are well done. The fight choreography resembles that used in much more highly budgeted films. There is also plenty of gunfire, hand-to-hand combat, swordplay, highflying flips that together deliver a funny, edge-of-your seat adventure.

NvZ is a film that slowly grabs ahold of you. After the first twenty minutes, you’re thinking it’s time to turn this crap off. However, given time, the story gets going and you will be entertained and rewarded.

3 out of 5 Corpsies


A Walk Among Us

A Matt Pizzolo Film

Godkiller is unlike any other animated film. Instead, it can be seen as a slow-moving slide presentation of artwork graphically illustrated by Anna Muckcracker. The artwork comes along with a narrated story written and directed by Pizzolo. This story is overlapped with voices by an all-star cast, accompanied by a heart-stopping soundtrack.

The story is relatively simple, involving fantastical beings and mature subjects of sex and death. A young man, Tommy, is on a search to find a heart for his little sister Lucy. As she lies near death, Tommy begins his quest by traveling through the Outer City. The Outer City is a wasteland full of criminals and murderers who will disembowel you and sell your organs without a thought. Tommy soon realizes that life in the Outer City is consumed with the marketing of flesh and blood. Wondering if it is all a dream, Tommy learns that nightmares do come true.

On a production note, Godkiller is 70 minutes of confrontational artistic display. The visuals are brutal and intelligent and the score is well conceived. The only problem: as I was devouring the artwork I kept losing track of the narrative dialogue, and then was surprised by the pop up of “to be continued.”

3 out of 5 Corpsies

Mega Piranha

A Eric Forsberg film

Eric Forsberg’s Mega Piranha is a test of the imagination as to how far a superman’s strength can be genetically developed. The film stars Paul Logan as the action hero Fitch. Tiffany plays the biological scientist Monroe, whose creations need to be stopped. And lest we forget, Barry Williams, of Brady Bunch fame, plays a concerned politician.

The film starts with action and never slows down. It’s a roller coaster ride that may have you sitting on the edge of your seat waiting for the next thrill. Experiencing unforeseen problems, a biological research project is shut down and a few fish escape. Uh-oh. The locals are attacked and when an American ambassador is killed, highly trained operative Fitch is sent in to investigate.

Piranhas are soon determined to be the cause, and they are no garden-variety flesh rippers. These fish have metal chomping jaws and the abilities to leap buildings in a single bound and double their size every few hours. WTF! A counterforce is set up between the Venezuela government, U.S. forces and the biologist. As the piranhas attack they are met with guns, grenades, helicopters, torpedoes, missiles, submarines, gunboats, a battle cruiser and even atomic weapons. (Didn’t anyone think of fish food?) But the piranhas can’t be stopped before they reach Florida (presumably to start eating voting machines).

This is a fast paced movie, moving from scene to scene very quickly. The dialogue is short and to the point, with subtitles often used for the locals. The acting is so-so but consistent. The soundtrack is cleverly hot and heavy. Eric Forsberg (who also directed Snakes on a Train) brings this all together into one heck of an entertaining movie. Mega piranhas upstage the actors and steal the show with their wildly imaginative attacks. The visual effects are a hoot.

4 out of 5 Corpsies