Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Editor

The Editor, Directed By Adam Brooks & Matt Kennedy -  Astron 6 is Adam Brooks, Matt Kennedy, Connor Sweeney. Jeremy Gillespie, and Steve Kostanski.  

It's been a few weeks since we've covered a "new" film (which sadly was Goat Scrote's coverage of Eli Roth's Green Inferno), so you know this one is pretty special. I'm a huge fan of Goblin-esque or Alan Howarth/John Carpenter tones or synthwave (what I used to think of as Italio-Disco) and The Editor has a lot of those schmaltzy sounds pouring from the soundtrack. The first ones I got into were Giallo's Flame, Laserhawk and the Disco Undead compilation. The bands featured on this soundtrack are Carpenter Brut, Vercetti Technicolor, Repeated Viewing and of course the best of all time Claudio Simonetti! There's an entire sub genre now, which is pretty cool, so you can mix up your own fake scores for an imaginary Italian Horror flick.

The Editor is a film I had no expectations going into, mainly because I'd only seen the poster artwork, which had Laurence R. Harvey, the tubby guy from the Human Centipede series and other cast members I wasn't familiar with. Each Astron 6 film that I've watched was enjoyed drunkenly along with my best pal Skunkape. Starting with the Troma release Fathers Day in 2011 (lots of anal rape jokes) and Manborg (which was a slight improvement). The Editor however, really cut into the meat of the matter and lampooned all things Italian Horror, this of course is sole the reason I'm reviewing it above all their other films. Did they pull it off, I have to say they did a decent job and for once made a Giallo watchable. Now that's almost impossible in my book, because I'd been burned by many others. Novices out there who blindly stumble into this tarantula infested macaroni pit of parody will not get the jokes and I doubt will want to dive into the Italian exploitation subculture. For those that stick it out, (obviously regular Guts readers have ventured beyond the typical), you will be rewarded. This movie goofs on Fulci, the Franco Nero/David Hess vehicle Hitchhike and there's almost too much technicolor and an over saturation of phantasmagoric Argento style to count the references, blah blah, you get the point. It's all handled really well and they genuinely understood the guilty enjoyment of garbled translated Italian to American style dubbing, nice work Astron 6.

Astron 6 : total boners for 80's nostalgia

The only flaw I could single out here is that they went with Udo Keir, who I've recently gotten used to instead of someone like John Morghen. I even asked Morghen if they bothered to consult him to appear and he said "No", for shame Astron 6!

Shut Up, I'm watching myself on Eagleheart!

The lead protagonist Rey Ciso (star and co director Adam Brooks) comes off like a watered down Franco Nero impersonator but he has a certain level of charisma. Paz de la Huerta is pretty terrible as usual but looks very attractive in a slovenly way, she's made a nice career though appearing in B-movie schlock, this seems somehow classier than her usual garbage. The way she whines at her husband and calls him a cripple (because his fingers were sliced off in an accident and he wears wooden prosthetics) sort of reminds me of the relationship dynamic of Richard Johnson and Olga Karlotos in Zombie. A textbook giallo killer is out slicing through major arteries (the red stuff spurts out in rivers, there's those Argento motifs). The shadowy figure wears a black raincoat, gloves, sunglasses and injects people with a paralyzing serum and carries a straight razor. All the Giallo cliches are evident.
The females in The Editor constantly show full bush and are extremely beautiful, if only real Giallos were that generous. There's a sweet Traci Lords crotch thrusting Murder Rock style homage topped off with a stupendous face ripping. The mechanical face spews out blood and the violator tries to smush the flesh back onto the skull--it's ghastly amusing.

Check out my skinless Maculay Culkin impression

The Human Centipede actor plays a helpful priest and thankfully doesn't sew any mouths to anus' this time around. Another actor/co-writer Conor Sweeney talks like a foreign dubbed guy and gets tons of ladies, his character is sort of gay (he checks out a dude in the shower and compliments his penis), he also wears a bad Ken doll blonde wig.

Yep that's right I brought Herpes to Sicily, so what!

The murders start racking up super fast and it gets increasingly more difficult to tell what's reality and what's being spliced together on the editing table by Rey Ciso.    
The story is intentionally muddled to emulate the Italian gore genre, you know how forgiving most fans are especially if it's a Fulci or Mattei flick, hell, I'll even toss in Claudio Fragasso for fucks sake.

I can't sleep, I drank too much Sanka

There are a lot of grisly murders but one of my favorite parts is when Rey sees a shrouded figure with giant blue contacts, it's such a straight up Argento moment that would be lost on most people who aren't familiar with his early work. There's a comical and yet surreal sex scene where gratuitous mounds of birthday cake are slathered on the man's face (perhaps it's a scat metaphor). There's an insanely gory chainsaw battle that's so violent and sexually gratuitous that it reminded me of Pieces, which I'm sure was intentional even though that's by a Spanish film maker.

Tom Carvel here, reminding you that foodies are welcome to explore their perversions at participating stores

During the second the half, the tributes hurl at you frenzied (a blind girl has a German Shepard, a weapon nearly stabs a victim repeatedly over and over ala-Fulci). I'm always baffled by that motif in the maggot Maestro catalog, but it always occurs and it's always wonderfully suspenseful.
This one hits almost all of the pressure points in a satisfying way, especially if you're an Italian gore junkie, in my mind this is Astron 6's best work to date, go out of your way to see it.

Astron-6 Website

I wish I knew how to quit you Franco

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