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Archive for January, 2011

The Taint Review

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 10 - 2011
Recently I received an arm full of independent films for review, but unfortunately the entire Kung Fu Christmas festivities sort of pushed these out of the way and for that I must apologize. Finally, I have my review for at least one of these titles. I start off with one of the most bonkers and entirely crazy pieces of cinema that I have had the pleasure of watching in quite a while. Similar in style to both the recent wave of Japanese splatter (e.g., The Machine Girl, Tokyo Gore Police) and general Troma films (e.g., Tromeo & Juliet), this won’t be a film for everyone. I on the other hand absolutely loved it. So take my review with the preface that this movie is utter camp exploitation and will absolutely offend MANY members of the audience.

The Plot: Phil O’Ginny is a bleach-blonde-mullet-haired young man who awakens next to his girlfriend while out camping. He is coming off a rough patch with his previous girlfriend and is looking to have some fun pre-marital sex. His weekend plans are ruined however when a crazy redneck, dripping feces from his pajama bottoms, startles him by running out of the woods holding a sickle. He attempts to kill our mullet-haired hero, but O’Ginny runs away from this insane farmer who also happens to have his giant penis standing outside of his pants. As Phil travels the woods, he runs into a former forest ranger who explains how the water supply has turned all of the men in town into raging psychopaths whose penises have taken over their brains. Now all these psychos want to do is kill and hump! Can Phil and this young lady discover just what happened to the ‘tainted’ water supply and put a stop to this madness before its too late?


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The Taint

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 10 - 2011

The Taint (2010)
Director: Drew Bolduc & Dan G. Nelson
Writers: Drew Bolduc
Starring: Drew Bolduc, Ariel Canton and Cody Crenshaw



The Plot: Phil O’Ginny is a bleach-blonde-mullet-haired young man who awakens next to his girlfriend while out camping. He is coming off a rough patch with his previous girlfriend and is looking to have some fun pre-marital sex. His weekend plans are ruined however when a crazy redneck, dripping feces from his pajama bottoms, startles him by running out of the woods holding a sickle. He attempts to kill our mullet-haired hero, but O’Ginny runs away from this insane farmer who also happens to have his giant penis standing outside of his pants. As Phil travels the woods, he runs into a former forest ranger who explains how the water supply has turned all of the men in town into raging psychopaths whose penises have taken over their brains. Now all these psychos want to do is kill and hump! Can Phil and this young lady discover just what happened to the ‘tainted’ water supply and put a stop to this madness before its too late?

The Review
I was first contacted about The Taint via an e-mail from the director a few weeks back, where he forwarded me a link to the official website which also hosts a streaming copy of the trailer. From there, I found myself hypnotized by the dazzling color-inverted image of a young man surrounded by a ring of floating penises that seemed to drag on into infinity. Drew Bolduc, the co director and writer of The Taint, must keep an eye on Varied Celluloid, because he seems to know precisely the type of things that would catch my attention. I have a pretty expansive collection revolving around strange and trangressive cinematic oddities, and The Taint is something that will sit right alongside films such as Hanzo the Razor: Sword of Justice and Bad Biology, but it will also sit proudly next to any Troma collection that one might have. The Taint, to be short, is a strange mix of very cool ideas, very crude ideas and an infatuation with the male anatomy quite unlike anything I have ever seen before.
The sheer number of mangled penises you are going to see in this movie will blow your mind… I have no real segue from that sentence, but only with a movie like this could you ever start off a paragraph with that precise string of words. While the trailer for The Taint gave me visions of Gaspar Noe and various arthouse influences, the actual film itself is much more in line with the works of John Waters or other various deviant filmmakers who intentionally push the envelope for what is considered acceptable in modern cinema. What I think I like about the film though is the level of intelligence that seems to run throughout, despite the incredibly juvenile content. Drew Bolduc and his crew did not simply want to make a Troma movie with squirting penises, that is obvious. The film is infused with a deft pace that starts off at a jog and quickly escalates into a full blown run, after only a few minutes time. The pace, combined with the very modern and stylish look help the audience buy into the movie, even if the acting can lean towards the Troma level of intentional-unintentional-comedy.

We have seen digital FX creators become more and more involved in the creation of independent films in a stronger fashion than prosthetic FX artists ever dared to dream of in the past. This comes from the easy access that filmmakers now have with software that can reproduce CGI that rivals the large corporate Hollywood machine. District 9 and Monsters are two of the better known examples of self made CGI, made by the director, helping get a film made and a story told, and while the FX work in The Taint pales in comparison – so does the budget and the amount of people actually involved in creating the FX work here. Drew Bolduc and his friend collaborated and created an indie film, with no budget, that actually does a decent job in showing a somewhat believable apocalyptic scenario. Well, it’s hard to take any apocalyptic scenario serious when there are so many exposed penises on display throughout the movie, but there are some very interesting and hard to accomplish shots that Bolduc and crew were able to get for their movie through their use of CGI, and it looks surprisingly good.

This movie is bound to offend some of you, there’s no doubt about it. That is the entire purpose. The movie was made with the singular goal of making some laugh, and making some flee into a rage of anger. We start our film off with a real scene of vomit from our leading man Drew Bolduc, who proceeds to heave for several seconds. I didn’t even have to listen to the audio commentary to realize that this was indeed true vomit, as the disgusting amounts that pour out of his mouth tells us everything we need to know. The movie proceeds from there into just about every other form of offensive behavior a group of males could possibly get into. We watch as a young woman slices off a cute little squirrel’s head with a Indiana Jones style whip. We see dozens and dozens of penises (these are massive dildo’s that appropriately hang from every “infected” male’s zipper) explode via gunshots during one epic sequence near the end of the film. One of my personal favorite sequences features a group of 80’s style rockers who are living out in the woods, trying to avoid ‘the taint’, who sort of epitomize the most blatant homosexual trends of 80’s fashion. Indeed, they consistently make allusions to fisting and other acts involved in gay-sex but hide behind their macho attitudes. With nicknames like Balloon Knot, Suave Daddy, Chilli Dog, Pink Sock and Alligator Fuckhouse… you can just imagine the sort of movie that this is.

The Taint does have its issues, there’s no doubt. I don’t think even its most vocal proponents could deny that. The acting is over the top, as is customary for this sort of thing. Many of the actors are incredibly deadpan and lack any degree of believability. After years of going through indie films, I am rather immune to this sort of thing but I also realize that there are others who are not. The movie will also have troubles with audiences who aren’t as well prepared for this particular style of humor. This is offensive and occasionally disturbing material to be sure. Not everyone can lower their mind directly into the gutter, which is something that will benefit any audience member who decides to take on The Taint. It’s a movie that derives its humor from situations involving a woman smashing open her boyfriend’s head and then cuddling his brain while sentimental music plays in the background.

The movie does a good job in the splatstick department, but I will commend it for some witty writing as well. This, along with the competent special FX and AMAZING soundtrack, truly make it stand out as something different than your average “bad on purpose” indie project. As I am running out of time at this point, I will just take a quick moment to say that the soundtrack truly is something special. Similar to Cannibal Holocaust, Bolduc and company decided that the best route would be to include a soundtrack that doesn’t necessarily elicit a “disturbing” atmosphere, but instead went for something much more lighthearted. The soundtrack seems to be made up of 8-Bit musical cues, similar to what you would hear from older gaming consoles. I know of several bands that create music in this genre, and as a fan, I just adored the score here.

Despite bad line delivery, there are some truly funny moments throughout The Taint that stand on their own without any kind of prop or gore effect. There are small things, like the numerous times where we see Phill O’Ginny dramatically remove his sunglasses, in true CSI: Miami fashion, only to replace them with a different colored version of the same “Stunner Shades”. Bizarre but hilarious moments like this were what kept me tuned in, regardless of how wild the gory content may have been. There are numerous memorable lines within the movie as well. “Yield beast!”, yelled aloud during the previously mentioned scene involving the squirrel, certainly comes to mind. Ultimately, that’s just the beginning of the great lines. While watching the movie and taking notes, nearly all of my written notes were simply quotes pulled from the movie. “Who was that large c**ked man?”, “Must be f*gs! Total f***ing queers!” and “I HATE WOMEN!!” were definitely standouts, but this is a movie rife with contenders.


The Conclusion
The Taint is so far into the realm of vulgarity, that it ceases to be shocking at times. You will find yourself absorbed in a bizarre and horrifying world, filled to the brim with exploding penises and fecal jokes. It’s smart enough to avoid some of the worst pitfalls that movies like this sometimes have, but it’s such a strange movie that I have a hard time rating it. I won’t lie, for pure entertainment value… I love The Taint. Will everyone else? Not likely. It should gain some cult notoriety however. This is too strange and violent for people not to want to pass around. If you think you might be one to enjoy the insanity, search this one out! I give a four out of five, which may be somewhat high for this sort of thing, but I have nothing but fond memories left from having watched it.




Third Window Films – Memories of Matsuko Blu-ray Preorder

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 10 - 2011

Third Window Films have truly made their mark within the world of Asian cinema during the past few years. Their choice in films has been superb, and they have balanced both the obscure along with the slightly more popular fair to create a releasing company worth keeping your eye upon.

In conjunction with the release of Tetsuya Nakashima’s latest film Confessions, the company will be re-releasing the director’s earlier, and very beloved, Memories of Matsuko on blu-ray. The blu-ray disc looks to be a true 1080 transfer with 5.1 surround sound with removable subtitles. The special features will be similar to the previous DVD release but will also feature some some additional features such as an interview with music composer Gabriele Roberto. The disc looks solid, and so does the movie, so this should certainly be on the buy-list for any Asian film junkie with a high definition set-up. It is available for pre-order right now via Amazon.co.uk

If you’re not familiar with Memories of Matsuko, the plot synopsis via Third Window FilmsĀ  is as follows:

When a bored college student learns that a long lost aunt has been found dead in a park, he begins piecing together her life to see if it had any value. What he finds is a revelation. Talented film director, Tetsuya Nakashima (“Kamikaze Girls” 04), wield a host of cinematic tools to make “Memories of MATSUKO” a memorably entertaining and emotionally powerful “fairytale tragedy,” weaving together realistic human drama with offbeat comedy and spectacular (Bob Fosse-like) production numbers to tell the heartbreaking story of Matsuko Kawajiri, a starry-eyed woman who spends her entire life serching for a worthy “prince” capable of returning her limitless love. Versatile actress, Miki Nakatani, renders a virtuosic performance in the lead role of Matsuko.

For the full press item, via Third Window Films, continue reading after the break…

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New York Ripper

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 7 - 2011

In this day and age, it seems preposterous to me that there are still Western nations that have government implemented rating systems. It’s such a shame that censorship isn’t frowned upon by all nations. Instead it seems that often you’ll find the subdued populace in favor of such censorship, which is utterly bizarre in my opinion.

I bring all of this up not to simply step up on a soapbox and declare myself better than anyone, but the world of Euro horror and cult cinema in general has been dealt another low blow as media company Shameless just received word on their recent re-submission of Lucio Fulci’s The New York Ripper to the BBFC. Specifics weren’t given via the Cult-Labs newsletter, but it seems that the current edits to Fulci’s Giallo classic will stand. I haven’t seen the current cut that Shameless has available, but I am assuming that the edits were made to the nipple slicing torture sequence that comes about in the latter portion of the film. A sick moment indeed, but ultimately we’re still talking about latex FX work made on a limited budget.

There is still some light at the end of this tunnel however, as it seems Shameless will be compiling various pieces of footage to make their version of the film the longest running cut of the film. That sounds like something worth owning in my book, even if it does remove some of my beloved nipple-slicing madness! Keep reading after the break to read the Cult-Labs blurb for yourself.

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Wandering Ginza Butterfly Review

Posted by Josh Samford On January - 5 - 2011
The Pinky Violence is back! I know, it’s hard to believe! We have Meiko Kaji once again gracing the pages (well, web pages) of Varied Celluloid and it is a good feeling! Wandering Ginza Butterfly is a well known title and it is deserving of that popularity. Read the review to discover why!

The Plot: Nami the Cherryblossom has been released from prison after serving her time peacefully. Although we do not know what she was incarcerated for, we do see that she is deeply remourseful upon her return. While riding home on the train, she is grabbed by and forced to kiss a strange man, who is apparently being hunted by the yakuza. The kiss allows for the stranger to avoid his criminal persuers, and we soon find out that he is the notorious conman Shin, who is currently being tracked by the yakuza for writing a forged check. He thanks Nami for the kiss, and tells her to meet him in Ginza when she needs a friend. Nami seems to have different motives for visiting Ginza however, as she is quickly on the track of a woman named Saeko Yajima. We do not know who Saeko is, but she apparently pleaded for Nami’s sentence to be lightened and she is the main reason that Nami is back on the streets. Nami doesn’t want to approach the woman herself, so instead she sends the young pimp Ryuji (played by Tsunehiko Watase, from Terrifying Girls’ High School: Lynch Law Classroom) who gives her envelopes full of money on Nami’s behalf, money that she earns while working as a hostess alongside Ryuji’s friends. It isn’t long before the local yakuza begin to push in on everyone in this small community however, and they soon want a piece of the poolhall that Nami’s uncle owns. What will Nami do, who is Saeko and how will all of these loose ends resolve themselves?


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Varied Celluloid is a film website intent on delivering views on movies from all genres. Started in 2003, the website has been steadfast in its goal and features a database of over 500 lengthy reviews. If you would like to contact us about writing for the website or sending screeners, please visit the about page located here.

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