Starring Steve Rimpici, Haley Madison, Se Marie
Directed by Steve Rudzinski
2016 has saw several excellent releases in genre cinema; from the mainstream to the underground and everything in between, releases which have catered to a variety of moods and tastes have been strong this year. However, underground releases have flown by under the radar because they just don’t receive much coverage. The epitome of independent film in its purest form, underground horror is rife with creative DIY filmmakers bringing their art to life with style on shoestring budgets, and this year has saw impressive releases unlike anything else out there, due in no part to creators working with creative freedom.
Take Jimmy Screamerclauz’s Where Black Birds Fly for example, a disturbing and surreal exploration of authoritarian rule presented in the form of a mind warping religious allegory. For more lighter fare, Dustin Mills and Dave Parker gave audiences the family-friendly Halloween Spookies, which further showcased their knack for diverse storytelling. Across the pond in the UK, Scottish director unleashed the ambitious horror fantasy The Unkindness of Ravens to the acclaim of respected genre critics like Kim Newman, and it was one of the highlights of FrightFest London despite being among strong competition. Underground horror is thriving, and it deserves your attention.
Despite their unsung status, underground film is home to many auteurs motivated solely by a love for the genre, their craft and a compulsive need to create. These guys are often working full-time jobs just to finance movies on their own dime, and the few who do get to make movies as their main profession are dependent on our support. And when you see the amount of heart, creativity and outlandish brilliant in something like Steve Rudzinski’s CarousHELL, it makes you want to support the underdog.
Rudzinski has made quite a name for himself among aficionados of the scene due to his diverse, highly original offerings. These range from horror like Everyone Must Die (2012) and Red Christmas (2014), to Tokusatsu homages like Super Task Force One (2013), to time-travelling pirate adventures like Captain Z and the Power of the Leviathan (2014) – and more. This is the type of brain future genre fans will want to keep in a jar and milk for all its creativity long after we’re all dead, and CarousHELL is another reason why.
Co-written with Aleen Isley and starring indie queen Haley Madison, CarousHELL’s magic lies in its ability to provide pure entertainment at its most silly, fun and gloriously demented. It tells the story of Duke (voiced by Steve Rimpici), a carousel horse who, after being disrespected by a bratty kid at the fairground for the last, decides to go on the murder rampage and track him down so he can teach the little punk a bloody lesson. But how does a fairground horse kill people, you might ask? Well with his horn, ninja throwing stars and other unpredictable ways – THAT’S HOW!
Until I saw Steve Rudzinski’s CarousHELL, the concept of sex between a woman and a carousel unicorn had never crossed my mind before. Every so often you witness something so bizarre and out of the blue you can’t believe what you’re seeing, but at the same time you realize it’s everything you ever wanted. Make no mistake about it – CarousHELL is a silly, self-aware movie, and laugh out loud funny for its entirety as it has jokes for days, strange characters (the best being Joe the Pizza Guy played by Rudzinski himself) and wonderfully pokes fun at slasher tropes. It also provides some hilarious satire about our society’s current obsession with social media, and at its heart it boasts the age-adage more people should adhere to – don’t be a dick. Because being a dick, like the little snot nose bastard who sets the unicorn on his bloody course for vengeance in this movie, isn’t good for you or anyone else.
CarousHELL is the funniest horror comedy of 2016, as well as most brilliantly bizarre – and it is further proof that underground horror is well worth scouring, for it is there you shall unearth many hidden gems, some of which might even have unicorn sex. You can pick it up HERE.