M.L. Miller here! As I go into the tenth year of reviewing horror films, I wanted to go back to the beginning and repost some of the films I loved. Last month, counted down my favorite horror films from my first year of reviewing. Now it’s on to Year Two which began officially on October 1, 2011 and went through September 30, 2012. I have posted compilation lists in the past, but a lot of those old reviews haven’t seen the light of day since they were first posted many moons ago. Being the OCD person that I am, I have also worked and reworked the list, looking back at my own choices and shifting them around a bit. I’ve even added a few that I might have missed or looked over from the year in question. So, if you think you know how these lists are going to turn out, you don’t!
How did I compile this list? I simply looked through films released between October 1st, 2011 and September 30, 2012 and worked and reworked the list until I had the magic number—31. Again, I never call myself any kind of expert in horror. I simply watch a lot of horror films and love writing about them. Don’t forget to like and share my picks with your pals across the web on your own personal social media. Chime in after the review and let me know what you think of the film, how on the nose or mind-numbingly wrong I am, or most importantly, come up with your own darn list…let’s go!
Released on October 5, 2012 and available on Video On Demand, digital download, and DVD/BluRay!
LITTLE DEATHS (2011)
Directors: Sean Hogan (“House & Home”), Andrew Parkinson (“Mutant Tool”), * Simon Rumley (“Bitch’)
Writers: Sean Hogan (“House & Home”), Andrew Parkinson (“Mutant Tool”), * Simon Rumley (“Bitch’)
Starring Luke DeLacy, Siubhan Harrison, Holly Lucas (“House & Home”), Daniel Brocklebank, Jody Jameson, Christopher Fairbanks (“Mutant Tool”), Kate Braithwaite, Tom Sawyer (“Bitch”)
LITTLE DEATHS is an anthology pairing sex and death in interesting, imaginative, taboo-ridden, and deranged ways by some of the most inspiring horror-meisters in the biz today. Structured as three separate stories, the film will most likely offend you on one level or another. Let’s go through each entry.
”House & Home” is a nice but somewhat predictable entry, introducing the concept of sex and death which permeates the entire film in a nice way. I guess “nice” is somewhat misleading, though, since the events in this film are about as un-nice as you can get as a husband and wife mislead a homeless woman into their home then use her as a sex slave. The final moments are somewhat out of left field, making the film feel more like an entry from the old TALES FROM THE CRYPT HBO series than any of the other entries. With copious amounts of blood and jet-black humor, “House & Home” is a decent first course, preparing one for the dire tones to come.
”Mutant Tool” is about as perverse as it gets involving; drugs, Nazis, prostitution, and giant dongs. Director Andrew Parkinson does a fantastic job intercutting between a prostitute in therapy and a secret drug ring which gets its secret ingredient from the spunk of a chained mutant creature with a giant dangling schlong. As the prostitute begins to feel some kind of psychic connection with the chained leftover of Nazi science, her world begins to unravel. The ending is both shocking and unexpected and the level of perversion at play will definitely raise the bile in even the iron-stomached’s throat. This is some twisted shit, but Parkinson makes it all a fascinating train-wreck to witness.
The highlight of this trio of sexually sadistic shorts is “Bitch” by RED, WHITE & BLUE’s Simon Rumley. Though the relationship between the two lead actors, Tom Sawyer and Kate Braithwaite, may echo the troubled romance between Noah Taylor and Amanda Fuller in RED, WHITE, & BLUE, the story takes this pairing to much seedier and more psychologically murky depths in “Bitch.” Filmed in vivid, devious reds and tranquil, troubling blues, “Bitch” shows how much a feature filmmaker can put into a short film. It’s a testament to Rumley’s handling of dementedly tricky emotional situations that he allows us to care for both characters in such a short amount of time. Though on the surface the perverse sex shared between Sawyer and Braithwaite might cause snickers, you end up feeling heavy sorrow for both in regard to how fucked up their definition of love is. At its core, this is about how weak one can feel in a relationship and in response, how angry that can make one feel. I’m being vague about this story because it simply has to be seen to be believed at how deftly the material is handled. Needless to say, it makes for some of the most provocative moments I’ve experienced cinematically ever. Though this may be categorized as a story about the worst girlfriend ever, “Bitch” is so much more!
Not for the faint of heart or weak of stomach, LITTLE DEATHS goes where few horror films dare to. My only criticism is that this film lacks something tying the shorts together. I’m not looking for a syphilitic Crypt-Keeper style horror host announcing each short, but something creative would have made this feel more like a complete film rather than a collection of horror shorts. As is, LITTLE DEATHS still delivers shocks, awes, cringes, and scares on every level and will leave you squirming in your seat at the dark avenues and seedy motel rooms these filmmakers have chosen to lead us. Though it might entice you to take a shower afterward, LITTLE DEATHS force-feeds horrors that you more than likely have never experienced before.
THE 2011-2012 COUNTDOWN!
#19 – LITTLE DEATHS
#20 – JUAN OF THE DEAD
#21 – BLOOD JUNKIE
#22 – THE SNOWTON MURDERS
#23 – PARANORMAL ACTIVITY 3
#24 – [REC]3 GENESIS
#25 – JULIA’S EYES
#26 – MOTHER’S DAY
#27 – EL PARAMO (THE SQUAD)
#28 – INBRED
#29 – THE SLEEPER
#30 – FATHER’S DAY
#31 – THE MOTH DIARIES
M. L. Miller is a wordslinger/writer of wrongs/reviewer/interviewer/editor of MLMILLERWRITES.COM. Follow @Mark_L_Miller.
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