New episode of hidden Horrors you must hear! episode 6…favorites of 2016

Hey there Horrorfiends! instead of the usual episode, this time it is going to be episode 6 of the Hidden Horrors you must HEAR podcast with Sterling Anno and yours truly with pictures.
In this episode We discuss our top 13 favorite horror films of 2016 with LOTS of obscure ones and batshit crazy horror films you probably didnt hear about last year.
we also discuss the 2016 horror films that disappointed us, the 2017 horror movies we are looking forward to and finally show some much needed love and fond memories of the horror website Dreadcentral.
so hit play, listen and have fun with the first video upload of the Hidden Horrors you must hear podcast!


enjoy

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HIDDEN HORROR – Guinea Pig series – Mermaid in a Manhole

Mermaid in a Manhole I have been a horror fan since about 5 years old due to showings of the classic monster movies and episodes of Tales from the Crypt for about as far as i can remember. So normally the more disturbing horrors that the genre has to offer does not really disturb me because i have become as you say “Jaded” but recently are very obscure and very rare Japanese horror movie from the late 80s that was apart of the notorious Guinea Pig franchise actually did something that hasnt happened to me in a good while. I was genuinely disturbed and grossed out by a horror film…it was Horror manga artists Hideshi Hino’s ” Mermaid in a Manhole”.

Now in my defense this was my first time seeing a Guinea Pig movie, and what i have heard about the Guinea Pig movies were quite notorious so my expectations were high and it did not disappoint. Now granted I have seen Last House on the Left, Cannibal Holocaust, Henry Portrait of a Serial Killer and a few other notoriously disturbing horror films, but there was something about this little obscure gem from Japan that truly did it for me.

This hour long gem is about a lonely painter who just lost his wife and who gets inspiration for his paintings by visiting the sewers below his street finds a Mermaid trapped in the sewers down below, he rescues her but discovers that from living in the sewers for so long that she is sick and is developing sores and boils all over her body that begin to bleed pus and pulsate. The painter is grief stricken yet again and tries to help the poor mermaid but the mermaid instructs the painter to use the different colors of pus coming from her boils to use as paint for his painting of her. As her sickness gets worse and worse, a variety of different things start to pulsate from her boils like a variety of pus, guts and even worms! as the mermaid is dying in agonizing pain the painter slowly loses his mind and begins to dismember her with a cleaver!

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Now right in the first few frames of Mermaid in a Manhole you are treated to atmospheric yet very unsettling shots of the sewer and the many different debris that is in there including a dead baby floating in the sewage. From that beginning you know you are in for a unsettling and disturbing right and it only gets worse from there. The painter we are introduced to is a lonely man whom we feel sorry for and even reminiscences about when he was a boy and the sewer was once a beautiful river (more on that later) but when he finally takes the mermaid back to his home and discovers the boils is when the true gross out really begins.

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A variety of different pus oozes from her boils as she screams, the body horror only gets worse from there as the pus gets worse with gross close up shots of it and even one scene that almost started to make myself gag! it is when worms start to pulsate out of the poor mermaids boils and the lonely painter has to pull out those worms! now even with all the gross out horror happening director Hidishi Hino gives the viewer some breather time when the mermaids sickness stops and theres a bit of calmness, the sounds of the painter painting from the mermaids pus or even a clock ticking. These moments for the audience to breath still manages to let you register what you saw and yet still be a bit unsettled.

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Finally during the end the painters mind breaks down and he begins to hack up the mermaid with a cleaver, it is during this moment that a shocking twist is revealed and then even furthered by the painter reaching into the bloody mangled corpse and pulling “something” out of it. This truly disturbing ending actually left me heavy breathing from being unsettled. It is truly a dark and extremely grim film that strikes right at the heart and yet stays in your head for a good while.

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Horror manga artist Hideshi Hino’s Mermaid in a Manhole (which is also is adapted from his own manga of the same name) is truly a obscure piece of Japanese horror cinema that is truly disturbing and grossly unsettling. 1980s Japanese horror cinema was the stuff of uncomfortable, disturbing and nightmarish visions of hell and this film is no exception to it. Watching this film will truly make you feel like you need to take a shower afterwards and put on some Disney movies to get your mind off of it. It is a damn shame that Hideshi Hino did not go on to direct more Japanese horror cinema (he also did one other Guinea Pig film before Mermaid) for if he did he would of have a filmography of some of the most disturbing and nightmarish horror movies ever made and would of been a household name to the horror community the world over. And it is an even bigger shame that the american dvd for Mermaid in a manhole which was put out by Unearthed films is long LONG out of print with copies ranging up to $100 !

Watching this japanese horror gem is in a emotional way like looking into hell. I dont usually say that watching a particular horror movie should come with a warning but for the Guinea Pig movie “Mermaid in a Manhole” i have to say…

PROCEED WITH CAUTION

– James J. Coker

 

TERROR TV – TALES FROM THE CRYPT – Forever Ambergris

Foreever AmbergrisTales from the Crypt had a variety of different horror sub-genres throughout the show, there were plenty of rotting ghoul n zombie episodes, plenty of gory murder and double crossing episodes, a few supernatural and monster filled episodes. But a season 5 episode titled ” Forever Ambergris” was the shows only “Body-horror” episode with truly gruesome body horror scenes.

“Forever Ambergris” is about a jaded and once great war time photographer named Dalton (played by the Who’s Roger Daltrey) who is losing his touch and has to take a new apprentice Ike (played by Steve Buscemi) who has been showing real talent and promise with his war time pictures. It isnt long before they are in South America and hearing of a village that has been destroyed by germ warfare. Dalton tricks Ike into going to the village alone to get the pictures knowing that Ike will die from the disease. It isnt long before Ike begings to decompose and melt alive from the disease while Dalton watches and takes his pictures for himself. All goes well for him when he heads home and then seduces Ike’s grief stricken girlfriend Bobbi ( played by Blonde Bombshell Lysette Anthony) and in true Tales from the Crypt fashion Bobbi has a gruesome surprise waiting for Dalton.

Now before i get into the gruesome stuff one of the great aspects of this episode is the acting from the two leads Roger Daltrey and Steve Buscemi. Buscemi is believable and always entertaining and Daltrey actually does a good job as the scheming back stabbing antagonist.

But the real shine of this episode is the gruesome body horror scenes. we see pulsating bubbling skin, veins bursting out, plenty of blood, a eyeball oozing itself out of its socket that would make Lucio Fulci proud, skin and fleshing rotting away and a characters nose falling off into a bathroom sink! the body-horror scenes are truly fun and revolting.

So Crypt fans who want a revolting episode with good acting should look no further then the season 5 episode “Forever Ambergris

  • James J. Coker

HIGHLY UNDERRATED SEQUEL FOR HALLOWEEN – Jason Goes to Hell

Jason goes to Hell Now before you all flip your shit screaming “WHAT THE FUCK! JASON GOES TO HELL FUCKING SUCKS! JASONS ISNT EVEN IN IT AND ITS NOT THE SAME OLD SAME OLD LIKE ALL THE OTHER JASON MOVIES!” first just let me say CALM THE FUCK DOWN! and let me tell you why Jason Goes to Hell is a breath of fresh air for the Friday the 13th franchise and should really be more appreciated more. Jason Goes to Hell is truly a departure from the same old shit from all the other friday the 13ths. The Plot is much more involving then the previous films which to me makes it far more engaging and (SHOCKER) most of the characters are grown ass adults who have more then one dimension to them and theres alot of little very logical things througout the movie which should of been in the previous film but werent. Not to mention it is by far the most gruesome of all the Friday the 13th films. But lets get into the far more engaging plot already.

The movie starts off as usual with a naked young woman being chased from her cabin into the woods by Jason Voorhees but then it is revealed that the whole thing is a FBI sting operation and Jason is gunned down and actually blown up into little pieces..and this is in the beginning of the film! HOLY SHIT! now it makes you wonder if Jason killed how many fucking people throughout all the previous film why the hell didnt this happen earlier? it took nine fucking movies just to get to this? just one of the many logical and more realistic things that happen in this movie but back to the plot. Jason Voorhees charred and bullet ridden pieces along with his heart still intact is taken to a federal morgue. Soon things arent quite over for dear Mr.Voorhees as the coroner falls into a trance like state and starts to devour Jasons heart with black slime spewing from the heart while he devours it and is now Possessed by Jason Voorhees!…told you this movie is a departure from the rest of the films. Anyway the jason possessed coroner then kills another coroner and two security guards (one played by Jason voorhees himself Kane Hodder out of makeup) and goes on a long trek back to Crystal Lake.

Back at Crystal Lake the citizens of the town are celebrating Jason “Final” destruction and even a local dinner is celebrating by selling hamburgers in the shape of hockey masks. Also there are 90’s style televized tabloid show about Jason Voorhees and it seems like the whole country knows about Jasons numerous murder sprees..again why the fuck didnt this happen in the previous films. Along with the town and the countries knowledge of Jason a very mysterious, tough yet odd Bounty Hunter Creighton Duke is seen about town and claims Jason isnt really dead and knows of the only way to truly put Jason reign of terror to Rest. He reveales that though Jason now can pass through bodies via a demonic slug thing more on that in a bit. But the bodies he passes through cannot sustain themselves for too long and those bodies eventually start to melt and dissolve into goo in truly horrific and gruesome fashion. The only way Jason can truly be reborn into his old body is if he passes through another Voorhees and in this film (surprise Surprise) there are other Voorhees family members in town that Jason is seeking and only through a voorhees can Jason truly Die. So Craighton Duke along with Steven Freeman who is the estranged boyfriend of one of the Voorhees daughters are now in a race to protect the rest of the voorhees family and the demonic slug baby body hoping Jason Voorhees. And since it technically is still Jason Voorhees citizens of Crystal Lake are dealt with in particularly mean spirited and gruesome fashion.

Now with a batshit crazy plot like that for a Friday the 13th film is really REALLY new and very different for the franchise and to me thats one of the reasons why I like it. Now i know demon baby body hopping Jason can pretty weird and in all honestly were never really given a why as to how Jason got these abilities but we are given a quick possible glimpse as to why. You see when Steven goes to the Voorhees house he actually discovers …the NECRONOMICON from the evil dead series in the house (I shit you not) so its very possible that Pamela Voorhees possibly dabbled in the necronomicons power and maybe Jason is some sort of all powereful Deadite!?!?! maybe, and its great speculations for Jason Voorhees fans.

Now before i go into a rant about Friday the 13th fans and all the really realistic and logical things that happen in Jason Goes to hell ill just like to point out the more apparent aspects of the film that I love and should be more apprieciated by Horror fans. First even though Jason in his typical HockeyMask self is only really in the beginning and ending of the film, his look here is at its nightmareish best, his flesh is rotten and practically “Melty” and his hockeymask has practically melted into his face! I remember this look of jason scared the shit out of me when i was little and actually gave me numerous nightmares. Along with jasons gruesome “Melty” look all the kill scenes are incredibly graphic, gory, mean spirited and particularly gruesome even by Friday the 13th standards! There is one particular kill scene involving two horny young 20 somethings fucking in tent where the Jason Possessed Coroner sticks a spear into the girl as shes having sex and sticks the spear into her the exact second she cums and then splits her in half in gory and fucking really mean spirited detail. Its a very hard hitting and shocking death scenes and gruesome mix of sex and death. Also for this Friday the 13th film the majority of the characters are not incredibly dumb and horny teens but instead grown ass adults with working class jumps and are actually not one dimensional…for a friday the 13th film thats actually shocking! Also to note there is a fast pacing to the whole film and theres actually some crazy John Woo style shots throughout and some good use of eerie blue lighting too. And finally there is one scene that i wont go into too much detail about but it involves…man shaving… as much as I like this movie even I go “what the fuck” during this scene and Steve Barton from DreadCentral famously calls it “Homoerotic Shaving!”. Just watch the movie and youll see what I mean.

Now for me the best aspect of Jason Goes to Hell is just how Logical all the little things are. A swat team actually is brought in to deal with Jason which should of happened in earlier films. I mean if there is a killer who has been commiting multiple murder sprees with an incredibly high body count how the fuck do dumb teens keep going back to Camp Crystal Lake and how the hell does the country not notice that? glad all that finally happens in Jasons goes to Hell and the entire country and the town of Crystal Lake is well aware of Jason Voorhees and the stigma the town has gotten because of it and the whole town feels very much apart of the story. Also Camp Crystal lake has been abandoned for years, all little details that should of been mentioned in the previous films but no. Because most of the previous just did the same thing over and over again and somehow fans just love that! for me it is annoying and actually depressing that Friday the 13th fans and even horror franchise fans in general always want the same old same old shit every single time and when one film in a franchise does something new and different they shit all over it for years and years. Hell the hatred for Jason goes to hell is soo bad that HorrorBid.com’s Facebook page compared Jason goes to Hell director Adam Marcus to a known child molester! ….yeah and I know im going to get some shit for this review and just liking the movie. But you know what im sticking to my guns.

So my fellow horror fans if your in a forgiving mood this Halloween season and want to throw Jason Voorhees into your halloween viewing schedule (I always felt Jason Goes to Hell is best viewed in October) I say please PLEASE give Jason goes to Hell another chance and just see just how Different, new, incredibly gory, Gruesome, realistic, Logical and refreshing it can be compared to the rest of the Franchise…C’mon guys. – James J. Coker
P.S….Freddy Krueger makes a quick cameo at the end of this one.

HIDDEN HORROR – Matango Attack of the Mushroom People

matango When it comes to the legendary Japanese movie company Toho Godzilla instantly comes to mind. However Toho made several other great films that are overshadowed by their Godzilla films. And “Mantango Attack of the Mushroom People” is the perfect example that statement. The film has gained a reputation and became a cult classic but it’s not famous as Toho’s Godzilla films therefor making it a hidden horror.

The film opens up with a guy going to a mental hospital to see a psychiatrist who is crazy, and his story is even crazier. The psychiatrist tells the man what happened to him and it plays out on screen. Some people aboard a yacht run into a bad storm. The storm ends eventually and the people aboard it venture onto an island that seems to have no inhabitants. Their ship is damaged from the storm so they have no choice but to look on the island to search for some food. They discover a huge forest full of large mushrooms . They decide not to eat them as they may be poisonous, although they have no other source of food. They also find that no animals are on the island at all either. And to make matters worse they find the remains of another ship that appears to have crashed there. Eventually the people aboard the ship give into starvation and begin eating the mushrooms and the results are hideous…

Despite the weird title and concept this film has it’s a great flick. Even if the plot sounds kind if campy, it is not as this film is a dark movie with a serious tone. It is also directed by legendary Toho monster/ Godzilla director Ishiro Honda. And it features special effects by Eiji Tsubraya who was behind all the visual effects of all Toho’s classic films from the mid ’50s to late ’60s.

This film is an adaption of a story called “The Voice in the Night” by William Hope Hogdson. The story has been adapted a few times and this film is by far the best adaption of it. This film gets pretty tense at some moments as the characters begin to get paranoid and angry at each other, and they eventually break down as the film progresses and give into the temptation of the mushrooms.

Lately this film has became hard to find at a reasonable price. But if you do buy this film it is worth the price because it’s a good film. It is not very often a film can take a campy/cheesy sounding subject matter like mushroom people and make it a dark and serious film. This movie is also the perfect summer time Toho/Japanese horror film. With the island and ocean environment this movie has, it screams summer time horror.If you want an outside of the box horror film this is for you, or if you love Toho or Godzilla films you are sure to love this one.
-Dakota Bailey

Hidden Horror: American Mary (2012)

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For those who don’t know, I frequently attend anime conventions, spreading the Gospel of Geek Juice/Hidden Horrors through the handful of panels I do. One of my more popular ones panels is “Japanese Horror: Anime vs Film” where, as the title suggests, I discuss horror anime, or the lack thereof, and the tropes and history of J-horror in general. Inevitably I’m asked questions about my thoughts on Movie A or if I’ve seen Movie B, but there’s one question in particular I love to get asked: “What are your thoughts on modern horror and the state of the industry?” It always provokes great discussion, but no matter the path that discussion takes the conclusion is usually “Indy horror is where it’s at.” However, if you asked me to name a handful of great Indy horror films from the last few years I’d be hard-pressed to think of many. It’s partially because I haven’t seen much, partially because the majority of what’s out there is low quality and derivative, and partially because I rarely even hear names of good horror movies thrown around for me to blindly recommend. In complete contrast to this, American Mary is a title I’ve heard about since its release, and many people I respect have called it an amazing film. Directed by the Soska sisters, American Mary shines brightly as a great example of what Indy horror can and should be, giving me hope for the future of horror.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 6.44.45 PMAmerican Mary‘s titular Mary Mason is a med student who is severely lacking in funds. In desperation she turns to stripping, but doesn’t even get the chance to do that before her would-be boss Billy whisks her off to save the life of a friend of theirs, of course compensating her $5,000 dollars. Beatress, a… shall we say “unique” individual obsessed with looking like Betty Boop, hears about Mary’s skills and commissions her to perform some body modification on a friend. From here on Mary finds herself teetering on the edge of the wild world of extreme body modification, but isn’t pushed in until she’s drugged and raped by her professor, Dr. Grant. Mary and her world are now forever changed as she sets out to be a successful surgeon in a drastically different way then she had planned.

Ignoring all eloquence on my part, let me simply put that American Mary just works. The premise works. The characters work. The film itself works. The Soskas clearly have an understanding of the technicals of cinema and use various techniques to create effective and unique scenes. At the beginning of the film when Mary saves the life of the criminal, she rushes home, pausing when she enters. After the chaos and fast editing of the surgery sequence, the Soskas give both Mary and the audience a second to take in everything that just happened and in that moment we understand every thought and emotion running through Mary’s head. They take the very weird surgeries that make up body modification and pull them into the realm of horror, not through gore as most would, but by concentrating on the violation done to a body in the process.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 6.45.42 PMMary herself is the crowning achievement of the film, easily being one of the finest horror protagonists I’ve ever seen. She’s not only more human than almost every character I see in horror films these days, but also far more likeable and realistic than most modern protagonists in Hollywood films. Katherine Isabella brilliantly brings Mary to life, but unfortunately she’s not in good company because while the other actors play their roles just fine, they lack the certain energy that Isabella/Mary have.

The film is fairly well paced, cutting off the fat and showing us the essentials of Mary’s descent. Like in a Scorsese film the scenes feel like episodes that all add up together to create a completed story. Unfortunately, American Mary doesn’t hold up its pacing forever and in its second half stumbles, leaving you with an anti-climatic ending. For some this would ruin the film, but if you keep in mind the Japanese philosophy (going back to the beginning) that the journey is more important than the destination, then you’ll most certainly find the rest of the film worth it.

Screen Shot 2014-07-14 at 7.01.49 PMOne may want to push a feminist agenda onto this film due to the creators behind it and its content, but I never once thought about examining this film through that lens while I was watching it. Plot wise it feels like a standard, albeit improved, rape/revenge film and there are few scenes that provoke further analysis. There has been a notable lack of female directors in horror, but the solution to this problem is not to make feminist horror movies or prove that female directors are better. Rather, we need more movies like this one. Movies that prove nothing more then that the director, who happens to be a woman, can make a damn fine movie.

I may not have seen the largest number of Indy horror films, but I’d wager that American Mary stands out not just from all indy horror, but from all film. It’s cold without losing emotion, clinical without losing passion, and sophisticated without losing the rawness we expect from horror. There has come to be a large difference between the standards we judge modern Indy horror by and the horror classics by, but American Mary holds up against all standards. It’s one of the finest modern horror movies I’ve seen and one I’ll be returning to even when it’s considered a classic. It’s the kind of film I’m proud to bring up in discussion and I hope that inspires more directors to create films in its spirit, eventually leading us into a world where indy horror can stand tall and proclaim that it really is where good horror’s at.

What are your thoughts on American Mary or modern horror, Indy or otherwise? Sound off in the comments below!
This review and others like it can be found over at my internet home Mental Multiverse, for more movie and TV talk head on over to Buck On Stuff, and for all kinds of geeky goodness head over Geek Juice Media– Justin Widerski

31 HIDDEN HORRORS FOR HALLOWEEN – OCT.7th – HIDDEN HORROR – Evil Dead Trap

223912_481856415166219_909824565_nOur Halloween countdown just would not be complete without at least one Asian horror film and what better Asian horror film then one that is obscure even to horror fans. I give you 1988’s “Evil Dead Trap”…NO relation to the “Evil Dead” franchise.

Nami hosts a late night home video program. She receives a tape that appears to be a real snuff film shot at a nearby factory. She and her crew investigate the location where she meets a man looking for his brother and who warns her to stay away. As she gets closer to the truth she and her crew are subjected to a brutal nightmare.

Right off the bat what can be soo loved about “Evil Dead Trap” is that it came out at a time when Japanese horror films (in the 80’s and early 90’s) were not all “ghosty” like there are now. They were sick, gruesome, nasty and made you want to take a shower right after watching them. “Evil Dead Trap” is one of the classics of those J-Horrors of the more gruesome kind. The movie is practically a slasher film that shockingly turns into a body horror film near the end. One of the best aspects of the film is director Toshiharu Ikeda’s visual style. It’s very reminiscent of Dario Argento with Argento like lighting, atmosphere and many stylized shots. Imagine if Dario Argento, Sam Raimi and David Cronenberg all came together to direct a 80’s slasher film…but make it Japanese and boom! You’ve got “Evil Dead Trap”

So if you’re in the mood for some J-Horror but tired of all the dopey ghost girls with long black hair (believe me I sure am) then get a little nasty and gruesome with “Evil Dead Trap.”

-James J. Coker