Bruce Holecheck, the inside man on the DVD world, sends along his list of top 10 Eurotrash films today. Tenebre slides up the ladder with two votes out of three lists (a good vote gents)… Nice to see one of my favorite action films on the list as well-I remember this one time…sitting and talking with Mike Sopkiw…ah, nevermind.
Take it away Bruce!
Ask me tomorrow and you’ll get a different answer. Besides, ten doesn’t really cover it. These are ten favorites that simply popped into mind first, presented in alphabetical order.
After the Fall of – Fast-paced, gory post-nuke romp about a Eurocult supercast of do-gooders (including Michael Sopkiw, Big George Eastman and Romano Puppo as hero, primate and cyborg, respectively) fighting to save the world’s last fertile woman. Not the first I saw in the short-lived, much-loved subgenre, but my favorite due to its nonstop slate of macho posturing.
Burial Ground – Relentlessly nihilistic dead pic with a lot to set it apart from the norm, including a sleaze level you usually don’t find in these outings, appropriately creepy and unique zombie masks (that’re just dripping with worm-life), ultra-nasty violence set-pieces (nipple rip!) and a take-no-prisoners finale. Add some of the most unintentionally hilarious dialogue ever (“This cloth smells of death!”) and an impossible to forget man-child, and you have a perfect night’s entertainment.
Dr. Butcher, M.D. – A real riot, this one. Taking the “kitchen sink” approach, we’re served a meaty stew with boastful mad scientists, illegal organ harvesting, scoop-hungry journalists, spread-eagle crotch-shots, bloodthirsty jungle savages and hyperactive zombies who aren’t afraid to pull a knife on ya’! I actually prefer the DR. BUTCHER edit with its quicker pace, silly opening and new soundtrack (possibly composed by a retarded chimp with a broken Casio), but I’m sure there are purists out there who support the ZOMBI HOLOCAUST original. Either way, it’s essential.
Female Vampire – Lina Romay and her bedpost are guaranteed to give you zipper-burn in this lyrical, surreal, sexy outing from Spain’s prolific uni-tooth wonder, Jess Franco. The planets must have been aligned when this was made, because for once all of his elements seem in sync; even you Francophiles out there have to admit it’s rare to see his elements congeal like this.
Nekromantik 2 – This strangely poignant and morbidly romantic account of the darker sides of human desire remains provocative viewing to this day, which shouldn’t be a surprise considering it was purposely designed to alienate horror fans. Not your typical entry for a Eurotrash Top Ten list, but I find its mixture of sordid subject matter with arthouse posturing to be fascinating and addictive.
Once Upon a Time in the West – Trash? Art? Classic? It’s not an argument I feel like getting into, but no matter how you slice it, Sergio Leone’s masterful epic (his love letter to the dying days of the Old West) is a must-see.
Tenebre – Argento at his peak. Much praise is ladled upon SUSPIRIA, but for my money this cold, calculated giallo beats it, severed hands down. An absolute feast of tight scripting, virtuoso camerawork and some of the most jaw-dropping scenes of cinematic carnage you’ll ever witness, with a frantic climax that actually feels justified. The “paint the wall red” bit has reached legendary status, and may possibly be the single most iconic Eurotrash sequence to me.
Violent Protection – While Umberto Lenzi’s horror offerings were usually pretty hit or miss (I love his CITY OF THE WALKING DEAD for all the wrong reasons), the crime flick is where he excelled, as evidenced by this police thriller with perennial mustache Maurizio Merli beating the living hell out of anyone who gets in his way. Add an addictive soundtrack, shocking murders (death by bowling ball!) and chase scenes that put Hollywood’s best to shame, and you have one of the genre’s greatest entries.
Who Could Kill a Child? – Unfortunately overlooked due to its rarity, this Spanish horror paints a bleak picture of a couple vacationing on an isolated isle who soon discover its children have gone berserk. The titular conundrum comes into play as the pair fight for their survival, in one of the most tense, frightening, practically unbearable showdowns of all time. A real haunting film, and one you won’t easily forget.
Zombie – The one that pushed me off the diving board. The legendary eye gouge was unexpected and completely changed my life, starting my search for the best and bloodiest around. In retrospect, that may not be such a good thing after all…
Too bad there isn’t room for Cannibal Apocalypse, Mountain of the Cannibal God, Massacre in Dinosaur Valley, The Wild Beasts, Pieces, Possession, The Great Silence, Cutthroats 9, 1990 The Warriors, The Big Racket, High Crime, Colt .38 Special Squad, Emanuelle in America, Emanuelle’s Revenge, Emanuelle and the Last Cannibals, Anthropophagous, Erotic Nights of the Living Dead, The House that Screamed, House by the Cemetery, Cemetery Man, Contamination, Seven Women for Satan, Satan’s Blood, The Blood Spattered Bride, Hitch-Hike, Hunchback of the Morgue, Return of the Blind Dead, Night of the Sorcerers, Horror Rises from the Tomb, Let Sleeping Corpses Lie, Eugenie: the Story of Her Journey into Perversion, Macumba Sexual, A Virgin among the Living Dead, Vampyres, Giallo in Venice, The Night Evelyn came out of the Grave, Perfume of the Lady in Black, Twitch of the Death Nerve, The Slasher is the Sex Maniac, Deep Red, Opera, Inferno, Cut and Run, Manhunt, Night of the Devils, Legend of Blood Castle, Devil’s Wedding Night, Dracula’s Great Love, Ripper, The House with Laughing Windows, The Red Queen Kills Seven Times, Diabolik, Eyes without a Face, Thriller and about a million others…