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Rectuma (2003)

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Starring Bill Devlin, Dani Leon, Jen Black, Rachel Morihiro, and Hiromi Nishiyama

Directed by Mark Pirro


A giant ass terrorizes Hollywood. No, it isn’t a Harvey Weinstein biopic. It’s Rectuma, the latest movie from cult filmmmaker Mark Pirro. Some of you may be familiar with Mr. Pirro’s other flicks including Nudist Colony of the Dead, A Polish Vampire in Burbank, Deathrow Gameshow, Curse of the Queerwolf, and Buford’s Beach Bunnies. Needless to say, he’s a director that specializes in making oddball films, particularly off-the-wall horror movies. But none of the films he’s made before are anywhere near as gonzo as his newest ultra low budget opus.

Waldo Williams is having a really bad week. Not only does it appear that his wife is cheating on him, she also seems to be plotting his murder. She may not have to kill him herself because he comes back from a vacation to Tijuana with a severe pain in his ass. A trip to a wacko proctologist reveals that he fell victim to the dreaded Mexican Butt Humping Bullfrog and it has left a lethal dose of venom in his prostate. Diagnosed with only days to live, Waldo’s only hope is a mysterious Japanese scientist, Dr. Wansamsaki (as in “Want some sake?”), who has an experimental cure that involves inserting a nuclear rod up the rectum. The procedure saves Waldo’s life but before long his ass begins to glow green. Soon, his ass develops a mind of its own as well as the power to detach itself from Waldo’s body while he sleeps and heads out to commit murders before returning and reattaching itself before he awakes. The only evidence from the murders it leaves behind is the fecal matter – which looks suspiciosly like gelatinous beef gravy – and a fecal trail leading right to Waldo’s house. Waldo’s the prime suspect and obviously nobody believes his killer ass story, at least not until it finally breaks off once and for all, grows to Godzilla-size proportions, and rampages through Los Angeles. The only hope for humanity lies with Dr. Wansamsaki’s giant monster fighting cousin, an awful lot of spicy food, and a goofy Islamic suicide bomber.

After reading that you’re probably thinking to yourself right now that this is either the absolute worst idea you’ve ever heard in your life or a concept so gleefully demented it smacks of brilliance. Either way, it is a concept with comic possibilities. I had first heard about Rectuma not long after viewing the similarly veined Monsturd, which God help me, I found to be surprisingly clever and a good deal of fun. After reading a couple of positvie reviews for Rectuma I decided to check it out for myself. Unfortunately, I didn’t find much in Rectuma to be all that amusing. The problem with reviewing comedies is that it’s so objective. You either laugh or you don’t. For the most part, I didn’t.

That’s not to say that Rectuma didn’t provie me with any laughs. I laughed out loud a few times. Pirro takes a page from Mothra’s book by having two singing Japanese fairies serving as the greek chorus and regardless of what they’re singing, it’s sung in the same key as the Mothra song. They’re constantly popping up throughout the movie, their funniest appearances being when they materialize in a urinal only to have their song interrrupted by, well, I think you can guess what happens and during the closing credits when they basically begin taunting the audience. I dare say the funniest stuff in the entire film comes at the very end when we’re given a teaser regarding a possible sequel involving another delicate part of the human anatomy.

I think the biggest problem is that it’s nearly an hour into the movie before we finally get around to the ass on a killing spree – a very fake looking prosthetic butt that’s novelty wears off fast – and the Godzilla-sized rear – brought to life through very crude computer animation – doesn’t come into play until the last 15 minutes or so. Frankly, the giant monster ass proves to be a big disappointment. There’s a sentence I never thought I’d write! Rectuma itself doesn’t really do much of anything. The notion of a gigantic ass terrorizing a city Godzilla-style seems to be one of those things that sounds funnier than it actually is when you see it.

If Rectuma were a short found on iFilm it would probably be really amusing, but dragged out to 95 minutes requires adding quite a bit to pad out the basic premise. There in lies the biggest problem I had with the movie. Much of the humor is based around an assortment of wacky, mostly one-note characters that Waldo has to deal with, most of which are either unfunny or what is funny about them gets run into the ground to the point that it becomes not only unfunny, but annoying. For example, take the Japanese monster fighter who we’re told has a speech impediment, which turns out to be that his voice is badly overdubbed in English. It’s funny at first but after awhile it becomes apparent that he isn’t saying anything even remotely humorous so apparently we’re supposed to just keep laughing at the dubious dubbing. It gets old fast.

And I just got to say, it’s the year 2004, Silence of the Lambs came out over a decade ago, parodying that movie just isn’t funny anymore. It wasn’t funny when the spoof Silence of the Hams came out and even that was back in the 90’s. One of the characters in Rectuma is a female cop who literally thinks she’s Clarice Starling. Entirely way too much time is devoted to this one-note character, culminating in a flashback scene involving a Hannibal Lektor type played by director Pirro himself. This scene feels like it goes on forever and the impending punchline can be seen from a mile away. Oh, Richard Gere/gerbil up the ass jokes – also not funny anymore.

And then there’s the sequence involving the recruitment of an Islamic terrorist that like far too many of the gags in the film just feels forced. It’s like a “Mad TV” skit that just falls completely flat.

I’ll give Pirro and his cast credit. He certainly tried to load every scene with one joke after another and they give it their all, but for the most part I only found myself perversely entertained by the sheer amount of jokes that came along in rapid succession only to completely bomb. After awhile, that wore off and I just started getting bored waiting for something that struck me as genuinely funny, moments that were few and far between. Maybe I made the mistake of watching Rectuma sober? Maybe it’s just one of those movies you need to see with a crowd, preferably not sober?

Ultimately, Rectuma reminded me of a parody movie poster that would appear in Mad Magazine only someone actually tried to make a full length movie out of it but forgot that there’s a reason why the joke was only intended to be a single panel cartoon.


1 ½ out of 5

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American Psycho Meets Creep – Strawberry Flavored Plastic Review

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Starring Aidan Bristow, Nicholas Urda, Andres Montejo

Directed by Colin Bemis


Recently I wrote up an article here on Dread Central which was basically an open letter to anyone who was listening called “I Miss Found Footage.” Well, it seems like someone WAS listening, as I was then sent the link to an all-new found footage film called Strawberry Flavored Plastic from first-time writer-director Colin Bemis.

The film follows the “still-at-large crimes of Noel, a repentant, classy and charming serial killer loose in the suburbs of New York.” Basically, you could think of the flick as American Psycho meets Mark Duplass and Partick Brice’s Creep. That, or you could think of it as “Man Bites Dog in color!” However you choose to label Colin Bemis’ psychological thriller, just make sure you check out the film once it hits in the future.

As I alluded to above, the film is basically a found footage version of American Psycho. But that said, the film sports a twist on the charming serial killer subgenre that I have yet to see play out in any of the above-mentioned classics. I’m not going to go into spoiler territory here, but I will say that the film introduces an element to the tale that spins it into much more of a character drama than a straight horror film. Not that there is anything wrong with that!

Truth be told, the film’s turn from serial killer flick into a layered character study might have been its kiss of death, but this slight genre switch is rendered a minor issue as the film’s central narcissistic antagonist is played by Aidan Bristow. Bristow is an actor you may not have heard of before this review, but you will hear his name more and more over the years to come, I promise. The guy gives (no pun intended) a killer performance as the film’s resident serial killer Noel Rose, and time after time surprised me with how chilling, charming, or downright vulnerable he chose to play any given scene.

Bristow’s performance is, in the end, the major element the film has going for it. But that said, as a fan of found footage, I was smiling ear to ear at first-time director Colin Bemis’ understanding of what makes a found footage suspense sequence work.

In Strawberry Flavored Plastic director Colin Bemis is confident and content to allow full emotional scenes to play out with the camera directed at nothing more than a character’s knees. Why is this so important? Because it keeps the reality of the film going. Too many found footage directors would focus on the actors’ faces during such emotional scenes – no matter how contrived the camera angle was. In this film, however, Bemis favors the reality that says, “If you were really in this emotional state and holding a camera, you would let it drop to your side.” I agree, and it is small touches like that which make the film feel authentic and thus – once the shite hits the fan – all the scarier.

On the dull side of the kitchen knife, the film does feel a bit long even given it’s short running time, and there doesn’t seem too much in the way of visceral horror to be found within. Again, graphic blood and gore aren’t a must in a fright flick, but a tad more of the old ultra-violence would have gone a long way in selling our main psychopath’s insanity and unpredictability. But all the same, the film does feature a rather shocking sequence where our main baddie performs a brutal home invasion/murder that puts this film firmly in the realm of horror. In fact, the particular POV home invasion scene I’m talking about holds about as much horror as you’ll ever wish to witness.

In the end, Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic is a must-see for fans of found footage and serial killer studies such as American Pyscho, Creep, and Man Bites Dog. I recommend giving it a watch once it premieres. If only to be able to point to Aidan Bristow in the near future and tell all your friends that you watched (one of) his first movies.

Until then, check out the film’s trailer HERE, and follow the movie on Facebook.

  • Strawberry Flavored Plastic
3.5

Summary

Lead actor Aidan Bristow turns in a star-making performance in Colin Bemis’ Strawberry Flavored Plastic, a found footage film that plays out like Man Bites Dog in Color before introducing a new element to the charming-serial-killer subgenre and becoming more character study than a straight horror. Think American Psycho meets Creep.

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Who Goes There Podcast: Ep 148 – Inside (2017 Remake)

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We’ve all heard the old saying, “in this world nothing can be said to be certain, except death and taxes.” Well, I’m here to tell you that’s only partially true. It seems there is a third certainty that had been omitted from the original quote, “It is certain, if you enjoy a movie, at some point someone will remake that movie.” Now is the time when one of my favorite movies gets reimagined, “for an American audience”.

In the late 2000’s an explosion of “French extreme” horror films was released. Martyrs and or High Tension can often be found on any number of lists of the “most fucked up horror movies ever”. Unfortunately, the vastly superior Inside is often forgotten (as well as Frontier(s), but that’s a whole ‘nother rant). Now, ten years after it’s initial release, Inside has been Americanized. Don’t worry, we watched it so you don’t have to. You’re welcome.

Mommy says you’re not dead. Is that true? It’s the Who Goes There Podcast episode 148!

If you like what you hear, please consider joining our Patreon subscribers. For less than the cost of a beer, you get bonus content, exclusive merchandise, special giveaways, and you get to help us continue doing what we love.

The Who Goes There Podcast is available to subscribe to on iTunes right here. Not an iTunes user? You can listen on our Dread Central page. Can’t get enough? We also do that social media shit. You’ll find us on FacebookTwitterInstagramTwitch, and YouTube.

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Totem Review – It’s Not Always A Bad Thing To Look Up From The Bottom Level, If You Like That View

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Starring Kerris Dorsey, James Tupper, Ahna O’Reilly

Directed by Marcel Sarmiento


Following the untimely death of a family’s matriarchal figure, a young woman finds out that managing to hold all of the pieces in place becomes increasingly more difficult when otherworldly infiltrators make their presence felt. We’re going to have to work our way up this Totem, as

17 year old Kellie is the leading lady of the home following the passing of her mother Lexy, and with a needy father and tiny tot of a baby sister, she still keeps things in working order, regardless of the rather large hole that’s been left in the dynamic due to the death. Kellie’s dad after a while decides to ask his lady-friend to move in with the family, so that everyone can move onto a more peaceful existence…yeah, because those types of instances always seem to work seamlessly. As fate would have it, Kellie’s sense of pride is now taking a beating with the new woman in the mix, and her little sister’s new “visitor” is even more disturbed by this intruder – only question is, exactly who is this supernatural pal of sorts? Is it the spirit of their dead mother standing by to keep watch over the family, or is it something that’s found its way to this group, and has much more evil intentions at hand?

What works here is the context of something innately malicious that has found its way into the home – there are only a couple moments that come off as unsettling, but the notion of having to weave through more than half the film acting as a sullen-teen drama is rather painful. The presentation of the “broken family” is one that’s been done to death, and with better results overall, and that’s not to say that the movie is a complete loss, it just takes far too much weeding through at times stale performances and even more stagnant pacing to get to a moderately decent late-stage conclusion to the film. Under the direction of Marcel Sarmiento (Deadgirl), I’d truly hoped for something a bit more along the lines of a disturbing project such as that one, but the only thing disturbing was the time I’d invested in checking this one out. My best advice is to tune into the Lifetime channel if you want a sulky teen-melodrama with a tinge of horror, or you could simply jump into this one and work your way up…but it’s a LONG way to the top.

  • Film
2.0

Summary

Sulky, moody, and ridden with teen-angst buried in the middle of a supernatural mystery – SOUNDS like a decent premise, doesn’t it?

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