Trashterpiece Theater: Exploring the Strange and Unusual Side of Cinema: Volume 4

Raw Force (1982)

The best thing about Raw Force is the fact that it's essentially three terrible movies rolled into one! It starts out as a martial arts film, transitions over to a soft core porn, and then caps off the entire adventure on an island with samurai zombies. Throw in a dude who looks like bootleg Hitler, a Magnum PI knock-off, a chef who turns out to be a stone cold killer, a metric ton of breasts and you have an idea what this crazy flick has in store for you. Some of the fights are actually pretty legit and there is a good amount of gore thrown in there as well.

Available on Blu-ray from Vinegar Syndrome.

The Deadly Spawn (1983)

This is a nasty little low-budget horror film with absolutely outstanding creature effects. A meteorite crashes in the woods and brings with it grotesque worm-like alien monsters who love the taste of human flesh. They take up residence in the basement of a house nearby with bloody results. It was shot on 16mm and it feels like an amateur film, but the way everything is staged during the horror sequences is masterful. Honestly, the practical effects in The Deadly Spawn put many big budget horror films to shame. The ending is fantastic and with a short run time it doesn't wear out its welcome.

Available on DVD from Synapse Films.

The Boneyard (1991)

If you have ever wanted to see a giant mutant poodle tear some shit up, then The Boneyard delivers in spades. The story starts out as a typical somewhat serious murder mystery with some supernatural elements and eventually morphs into an insane creature feature with Chinese black magic spliced in. This film is most infamous for having Phyllis Diller play a role as the ever cranky Miss Poopinplatz (yes, that is really her character's name), the owner of the aforementioned ill-fated poodle. 

Available on Blu-ray from Kino Lorber.

Begotten (1990)

Begotten is a waking nightmare of a film, a surrealistic black-and-white fever dream that gets under your skin and stays there. It's a retelling of the birth of man except with appalling violence and the death of the Old Gods. A creature disembowels itself and from its remains emerges a woman, Mother Earth, if you will. The narrative is disjointed, fragments of images and feelings, filled with blood and viscera. The sound design is amazing too, as it's a silent film underscored with dissonant sounds and nerve-wracking music. Even seasoned horror fans will most likely find themselves extremely unsettled.

Available on an out of print DVD from World Artists.

Messiah of Evil (1973)

A lesser known entry into the surreal '70s horror genre, it feels like an arthouse version of Fulci's City of the Living Dead (1980). A woman goes to a strange seaside town to hunt for her missing father and encounters an undead cult led by an unseen evil force. Much like the Silent Hill games, this film feels like it take place in an alternate dimension where rhyme and reason no longer exist and terrible things lurk in the shadows. It's a slow burn narrative but worth sticking with to see the haunting last act.

Released on DVD and Blu-ray by Code Red.