FINALLY! A new episode is here

Hey there Horrorfiends! James J. Coker here with the long awaited new episode of Hidden Horrors.

This time about a little known but batshit wonderful Mexican horror movie from the 70s.

Enjoy and dont forget to subscribe

 

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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

 

HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – Corpse Party Tortured Souls – 4 part OVA

Corpse PartyFor every Halloween viewing schedule i always try to throw in a Japanese horror film into the mix just to add some diversity and foreign flavors to the Halloween mix, Halloween season 2013 i watched Entrails of a Beautiful woman, Halloween season 2014 i watched the original Ring and so this Halloween season i decided to watch a Horror anime instead of the usual live action Japaneses Horror. Now i did not feel like anything too action packed (so no Hellsing) and nothing too sexual (im looking at you Legend of the Overfiend) luckily i discovered a 4 part OVA based on a popular Japanese horror game series called “Corpse Party” and after i read the synopsis for the franchise and I had to seek out this anime immediately…and oh what beautiful, ghoulish, ghostly and damn ghastly viewing pleasures awaited me when i popped in that rare Region 1 dvd of this hidden gem.

Now the synopsis of Corpse Party… The story is set in Heavenly Host Elementary School, an elementary school that was torn down following the murders and disappearances of several of its staff and students. By the start of the story, another school called Kisaragi Academy has been built over the elementary school site. One night, a group of students from Kisaragi are telling ghost stories when a sudden earthquake transports them to another dimension where Heavenly Host Elementary still exists and is haunted by the ghosts of the school’s murdered children. The students of Kisaragi Academy students try to find their way home and survive from the Ghost children who are out to murder them in gruesome ways with pairs of scissors!!!

Now with a synopsis like that you would think “oh typical ghost bullshit from Japan..YAWN” well…NO! not exactly yes the main baddies are ghosts but believe me this sucker is incredibly gruesome and gory, these ghosts do not play nice! but before i get into the red stuff, each episode has a mystery aspect to it where our characters are stitching together the pieces of where they are, what happened and how all these murderous ghost children came to be in this creepy otherworldly abandoned elementary school. Also it is noted that the first episode is a little rocky. It suffers from the usual anime “Bullshit” just a little and a few lines of dialogue that come out of nowhere that had me going “what the fuck!” and not in a good way. But just hold through horror fans because after the first death scene happens its one hell of a ghoulish and gruesome ride after that.

Now the real strength of this 4 part Horror anime lies in the creepy atmosphere of the abandoned other dimensional Heavenly Host elementary school and its incredibly fucked up and gruesome death scenes. Guts are spilled open numerous times, eyeballs are stabbed numerous times to the point it would make Fulci proud, and tongues are sliced off numerous times too, Seriously folks you can make a fucking drinking game out of how many times this anime spills guts, stabs eyeballs or slices off tongues. Along with all that we are also treated to gruesome stabbings, hangings, faces being skinned off, a mans body being skinned in half and a quick surprise decapitation all gruesome unrelenting fashion… believe me horror fiends the splatter is high in this one. But the most grueling scene involves a small girl being mutilated with a pair of scissors BUT you dont see most of it…you hear it and see a grizzly aftermath of it.

A noteworthy thing to add about Corpse Party Tortured Souls is that is also kills off children with reckless abandon. Seriously this fucker brutally kills off children in a mean spirited fashion like it is delighting in disturbing you. Just imagine if Lucio Fulci got to make a horror anime about murderous ghost children and was given permission to kill off child characters in it…and thats Corpse Party Tortured Souls. But believe me horrorfiends finding this sucker is a little hard to come by, Amazon.com and Ebay only have the japanese import and it is pricey, luckily i found a cheap region 1 english subtitled UNCUT version on a special anime website right here

http://www.shopanimedvd.com/product_info.php?products_id=781242

Now horror fiends if you want to add some rare horror anime to your Halloween movie mix then seek out this ghoulish and mean little fucker soon! It is perfect for a October viewing.

Oh and P. S. there is a surprise end credits scene that is mean-spirited in a psychological and emotional way and it is completely unnecessary but it is just there to make the thing that much more fucked up…youve been warned MUHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA!!!  – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR FOR HALLOWEEN – The Mummy’s Revenge AKA La Venganza de la Momia

11 MummysRevengeWanting to throw some old school monsters into our Halloween reviews i decided to track down and watch a spanish made Mummy movie from the early 70s called “the Mummy’s Revenge” which stars the Spanish horror Legend Paul Naschy. I have heard over the years that this film is the goriest mummy movie ever made and…yeah there right. It is probably the ONLY gory Mummy movie out there.

from IMDB : Paul Naschy has a duel role as Amenhotep/Assad Bey, an ancient egyptian mummified Pharaoh, and the high priest who brought him back to life. In order For Amenhotep to achieve immortality, Assad Bey has to kidnap nubile young virgins in Victorian London for blood sacrifices.

Now this is one hell of a hokey yet ridiculous and yet wholly enjoyable Mummy movie. Paul Naschy offcourse rocks it as both the Mummy and the man who brings the mummy to live, he does a good job in both roles simultaneously. The dialogue and pacing at times can be a little slow but the Mummy himself and the death scenes are what make up for it.

Now the Mummy is both funny and fucked up in this film. It is funny because it is a Spanish made movie so the Egyptian mummy is speaking spanish while there in London! but this mummy is not your run of the mill slow shambling and just choke people kind of a mummy. This mummy acts more like a diabolical villain mixed with that of a slasher! he talks, he walks upright and he hardly ever kills his victims by choking them. Instead he slashes there throats with daggers, crushes there hands with his bare hands, stabs them with multiple different objects but the most grueling scene in the whole movie involves the mummys servent offering the mummy several young womens corpses on slabs, The mummy is displeased with this so “I SHIT YOU NOT” goes to each one of the womens corpses and crushes each there heads into a bloody pink pulp with one swing of his fist one after another! This was one of those rare scenes that had me have to rewind and watch again going “whoa what the fuck!” and one other batshit crazy scene involves a young woman becoming mummified out of nowhere because ” I SHIT YOU NOT AGAIN” …she has sex with the mummy! yep…Mummy STD’s everyone!

so if you want to give the forgotten monster of the horror genre (Mummies) a chance this Halloween season but want a mummy movie that is little insane then seek out This oddity from Spain, its a doozy – James J. Coker

HIDDEN HORROR-War of the Gargantuas

WAR OF THE GARGANTUASAt first glance “War of the Gargantuas” from 1966 may seem like a “Godzilla” knock-off. That could not be farther from the truth. Since they both come from the same company, Toho, you could call “War of the Gargantuas” a cousin film to “Godzilla.” Much like the early Godzilla films “War of the Gargantuas” is a fun, entertaining monster movie and, to get personal, it helped solidify me as a horror fan at an early age.  

It’s a dark, stormy night and a ship is stranded in the ocean, caught in a storm and under attack from a giant octopus. When the giant octopus lets go of the ship, the captain looks out the window and notices an ugly, green humanoid creature fighting the octopus. After it defeats the octopus the humanoid creature destroys the boat and devours the captain and his crew. Afterwards, a scientist and his assistant are being question by the police. They had a similar humanoid creature they have been studying since it was an infant, and the authorities wonder if it has grown up and is responsible for the killings. It turns out there are two creatures: the one studied by the scientists is brown, resides in the mountains and is peaceful; while the one responsible for the attacks is green, lives in the ocean and is evil.

When the green monster comes to land to feast he is nearly killed by the military. However he is saved by the brown creature. It turns out the green creature is an offspring of the brown one. Their friendship doesn’t last long though as they get into a a fight and then proceed to battle and destroy Tokyo.

You know this film is going to be a good one when you take a look at the credits. Here you have Inishiro Honda as director, Elji Tsubraya as the special effects director, Tomoyuki Tanaka as producer and Akira Ifukube as composer. This is the team that created the original “Godzilla” film, “Mothra” “Rodan” and many other classic Kaiju films. If you are looking for the cream of the crop of Kaiju films, you cannot go wrong with anything that has the involvement of these guys.

For its time the special effects were quite impressive. Yes it is miniature cities and men in monster costumes but believe me, these effects are still pretty good. I imagine some people may find these effects laughable and that is shame they will not be able to appreciate this film because of it.

If you are a fan of kaiju films or just want something entertaining I highly recommend checking out “War of the Gargantuas.” As I said early it help turned me into a horror fan and I am sure other horror fans can say the same. Mainstream filmmakers such as Tim Burton and Quentin Tarantino have cited this film as an influence. I am so much a fan of this film that I have both the 90’s Japanese and American VHS releases.

Bonus Review: Pantera’s Far Beyond Driven

On March 26th legendary heavy metal band Pantera’s album ”Far Beyond Driven” is going to be re-released for its 20th anniversary. In my opinion, and that of other metal fans, it is one of the best metal albums of all time, and I mean real heavy metal not the fake metal like Metallica’s ”Black album.” What’s interesting about ”Far Beyond Driven” is that at the time they were creating this album, Nirvana was at their height in popularity and grunge music was the thing that was in style. Pantera basically said fuck that and they made one of the most extreme heavy metal albums of all time. ”Far Beyond Driven” debuted at number one on the Billboard top 200 charts! That is something that does not happen very often with a heavy metal album. Also, when this album came out, the critics had been saying that heavy metal had died. That is why Metallica changed their look and style with ”Load”. On the other hand Pantera and Slayer were probably the top bands that pushed ahead and refused to give into the fads of the time or change their style and they still managed to be mainstream.

”Far Beyond Driven” is a very special album. Just listen to some of the tracks and you will know what I man. This album has ”Strength Beyond Strength”, ”Becoming” ”5 Minutes Alone” ”I’m Broken”, ”Use My Third Arm” and several more tracks that are examples of what real metal is.

What has always made Pantera so unique is that they were the biggest underground band to ever rising to fame from touring and a fan base instead of radio and television. And who can forget Pantera’s guitarist Dimebag Darrel who was as good, if not a better guitar play than Eddie Van Halen? It’s a shame what happened. Pantera, along with Slayer, Morbid Angel and other bands of this era were the extreme American heavy metal bands of the era making heavy music at a time when metal was called dead. And if you are new to extreme metal or want to get into extreme heavy metal this is a great place to start. Check this album out.

-Dakota Bailey

HIDDEN HORROR-This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse

5173MYKDQKLMy first entry for Hidden Horrors You Must See was a review of “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” the first film in the “Coffin Joe Trilogy” from Brazilian filmmaker José Mojica Marins. This time let’s take a look at the second film “This Night I’ll Possess Your Corpse,” a fantastic film that is just as good as its forerunner.

Taking place directly after the events of “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” we find Coffin Joe in a hospital in bad shape. After he is found not guilty of all his crimes and murders he returns to his village with the same goal in mind: have a son and continue his bloodline. Joining him on his quest is his hunchbacked sidekick/henchmen Bruno. The two start kidnapping women in the village and putting them through a series of tests to see which one is best qualified to help continue his bloodline.

Many horror films wish they could match this film in terms of its originality, atmosphere and character development. In fact this title fucking kills the generic horror films of today by containing all of those characteristics just mentioned and using them quite well. The tone of this movie is really blasphemous and dirty. I would describe the movie as if a Slayer or Venom record was made into a movie. You metal heads know what I am talking about.  I mentioned this in the “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul” review but it is worth mentioning again: Coffin Joe is a great character and an underrated horror icon.

There are many great and memorable scenes in the film. At one point Coffin Joe is dragged to hell. While the film is shot in black and white it switches to color for this sequence, which is very artsy and not to be forgotten. There is another creepy scene where an army of snakes and tarantulas crawl up the arms of the sleeping women Coffin Joe has kidnapped.

If you love old school horror films, great horror in general, or you liked “At Midnight I’ll Take Your Soul,” then you will definitely like this one. A great sequel to a great film. Check it out!

-Dakota Bailey