Fantasic Fest Review: ‘American Mary’

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American Mary Fantastic Fest 2012Mary Mason is a surgical student with financial problems. In order to solve these problems, she answers a advertisement looking for a “dancer”. Arriving at a grungy strip club, Mary meets Billy Barker, the manager of this fine establishment. As Billy is checking out Mary’s “wares”, a problem develops in the basement of his club. He returns and immediately and offers Mary a quick $5,000 in cash for some help. The job ? Patching up a thug with razor cuts extending the length of his body. Job completed, Mary returns home where she is immediately contacted by an affiliate of Billy’s. The job this time is body modification and the price tag is $10,000. Mary is no longer a starving student but a entrepreneur with a successful side business.

Soon after, Mary’s instructors take interest in her and invite her to a party being thrown by a bunch of doctors. It does not take long to realize that Mary is out of her element, and soon after she is the victim of rape at the hands of  her surgery instructor. From this point forward Mary is a changed person. She decides to drop out of school and enter the world of body modification full time.

Late To The Party: ‘Maniac’ (1980)

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Maniac  is a film that has a special place in my heart. This film is memorable to me, as I have never been able to finish it. I have attempted to watch it multiple times: once as a teen and another time as a young adult. I am writing this introduction, before this viewing attempt, in order to give you an insight as to why I have not finished watching this film. From what I recall this film is very disturbing. I watched this film because of Tom Savini. I became a fan of Tom’s work watching films like Friday the 13th, Dawn of the Dead, and The Burning. The special effects from this film are exponentially more horrific than all those others combined. I recall a slow motion shotgun blast to the head, a scalping, and in general some of the most heinous depravity ever put on film; at least these are my impressions after these many decades. Well here we go, race fans. Lets get this party started….

Maniac tells the story of Frank Zito (played by Joe Spinell ), a serial killer prowling the streets of New York with a singular purpose: kill people. The first act of the film has many of the aforementioned killings. A woman is strangled and scalped and a man, played by Savini himself, is brutally murdered via a point blank shotgun blast. As mentioned earlier, this is the point where I stopped watching the film on both previous attempts. Not this time!!!!!

BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL U CAN EAT Review [Netflix Watch Instantly]

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Directed by Herschell Gordon Lewis, 2002
Written by W. Boyd Ford

As a thirteen-year-old there wasn’t much more exciting for me than spending the night at friend’s house and getting to rent whatever the heck we wanted to because his parents didn’t care. I wasn’t overly sheltered as a child when it came to R-rated films, but most hardcore horror movies were off-limits, probably due to the likelihood of both nudity (in the movie) and nightmares (in my head). Therefore, the opportunity to rent whatever I wanted was one of the more exciting times of my young life. Even though this is how I discovered movies like THE SHINING and EVIL DEAD 2, a vast majority were terrible, and worst of all, most were devoid of gore and gratuitous nudity.

What am I going on about? Well, if instead of going to Blockbuster to rent a horror movie I instead was giving a couple hundred thousand dollars to make a movie, the result probably would have been very close to BLOOD FEAST 2: ALL U CAN EAT.

Directed by gore legend Herschell Gordon Lewis and written by the cast driver of BUG and WAITING (no, really, the driver), BF2 is a sequel thirty nine years in the making that was released thirty years after Gordon Lewis’ previous directorial effort. His prior films are unseen by me, and perhaps this is cause for a notch to be taken from my Horror Card, but if it is any consolation I now plan to check out more of his work, because BF2 is delirious fun.

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