If you are in the mood for a non-traditional horror film, I would recommend Rolf Olsen’s 1974 Mondo film ”Shocking Asia.” This is a film so hidden that very little information on it can be found online. If you are a fan of “Cannibal Holocaust,” shockumentries, or you just want to be shocked, watch this film. While not as brutal as ”Cannibal Holocaust””, or other Mondo films, it still has the same gritty exploitation vibe to it. Also, this film serves as a great introduction to the Mondo genre.
The film is about Asian culture. From the snake meat markets to religious ceremonies this film showcases it all, the shocking rituals and practices that, while normal to Asian culture are shocking to Americans.
On the National Geographic channel there is a television show called “Taboo,” which shows you how different cultures live. Imagine an uncut version of that show and you have “Shocking Asia.” In the ’70s these films provided audiences a glimpse into other countries and were quite shocking for the time. Some of the stuff from this film is still shocking, I can’t imagine how this would play to an audience in the 1970’s.
While some of the stuff featured in this film may be exaggerated, this film is enjoyable and a fun watch. It is especially great if you want to take a break from horror films but watch something extreme. Don’t watch this film if you are easily offended. If you are a veteran viewer of ”Cannibal Holocaust” this will be a cake walk for you .
Bonus Music Review: Pantera’s “The Great Southern Trendkill”
Perhaps one of the heaviest and brutal albums in heavy metal history is Pantera’s 1996 release “The Great Southern Trendkill.” It’s Pantera’s darkest and most experimental album as well. It was also around this time that Metallica disappointed metal fans with ”Load” because it wasn’t a very heavy album. Fortunately Pantera were prepared with an album that was so heavy some of the songs did not even sound like Pantera. Pantera only made one more album after this and disbanded, and guitarist Dimebag Darrel was murdered a few years later.
If you want a great heavy metal album that is very heavy and extreme this is for you. On a personal level, it is one of my favorites. This album has been around for 18 years plus, it does not sound old or outdated either- it is still heavier then most metal bands today, and that alone makes it unique and worth its reputation. A lot of classic metal albums out there you can say are not heavy by today’s standards, but this one is an exception. The guitar work from Dimebag Darrel is extremely heavy. As a matter of fact Dimebag’s guitar solo on ”Floods” is considered to be his greatest guitar solo ever! Drummer Vinnie Paul and bass player Rex Brown create a brutal rhythm section to go along with it Dimebag Darrel’s heavy guitar work. The production on this album sounds so good that it sounds as if it were recorded yesterday.
There was a lot of tension going on within the band at the time, and it was around this time that vocalist Phil Anselmo became addicted to heroin. As a matter of fact he overdosed and died touring for this album, but was revived with a shot of adrenaline. That would probably explain the dark mood that this album has, even the album booklet has a mysterious, dark vibe to it. There are also a lot of mysterious elements to this album as well. Such as that it was not well documented like the band’s other albums such as ”Far Beyond Driven” or ”Vulgar Display of Power”. Not much information can be found about this album online. Also, Pantera did not do very many interviews with the press in the era of this album. Also not many songs from this album were played live. The only songs Pantera played live in the 96/97 era from this album were ‘Suicide Note Pt. 2’, ‘War Nerve’, ”Sandblasted Skin’ and occasionally ’13 Steps to Nowhere’. They also only made one music video for this whole album. However just because they did not play very much material from this album live does not mean the songs were not good. The songs on this album are incredible, such as ”Drag the Waters”, ”Floods”, and ”Suicide Note Part 1” is a haunting acoustic ballad. Pantera had a reputation of never selling out and being the heaviest band around, and this album serves as a testament of that.