Dead Alive (aka Braindead)
Directed By Peter Jackson
Blood Level: Rigoddamndiculous
Few filmmakers can match the quality of the goofy gore that Peter Jackson inserted into much of his early oeuvre (and occasionally his big budget epics!), and almost no movie can match the level of bloodiness that Dead Alive reaches. Jackson certainly approached his zombie film intent on topping every other in terms of sheer quantity of gore, but he didn’t fail to match it with quality. A strong sense of humor is the backbone of this film, and most of the blood is in service to genius gags. As brilliant as Shaun of the Dead is, it’s important to remember it isn’t the only successful horror-comedy, or even the only successful zombie-comedy. It’s still a wonder to me that Peter Jackson managed to make a movie as bloody as Meet The Feebles is fucking crazy.
Check out this brilliant trailer for the film:
Buy the DVD from CHUD!
Kill Bill: Volume 1
Directed By Quentin Tarantino
Blood Level: Copious
Tarantino gets a reputation for violence that he doesn’t always deserve, but he certainly earned it with Kill Bill: Volume 1. While the second part of the epic settles back into Tarantino’s usual practice of including strong memorable flashes of violence rather than pervasive bloodshed, Volume 1 almost bathes in blood. Internet trivia will tell you that the production used over 450 gallons of fake blood, and you can see every drop of it on screen. The climactic sword battle in The House of Blue Leaves is a veritable orgy of dismemberment, disembowelment, and… uh, disembloodment. By the end of the sequence, several dozen freshly limbless assholes are slipping, sliding or literally swimming in more of the red stuff than you’ve ever seen. The sequence was even too bloody to be presented in color and keep an R rating! Considering the fucked American view of violence compared to sex, this is a feat in-and-of itself. The coup de grace has to be the shot of a legless Gordon Liu falling into a crimson pool seen from a gratuitous Uma Thurman crotch shot. Even I don’t want to start trying to touch on what that means.
The trailer (which features MPAA-appeasing digitally darkened bloodstains!) can be seen here:
Directed By Bustillo and Maury
Blood Level: Copious
It’s been a long time since a horror film actually managed to make me cringe or gag, but Inside did the trick. A film about a woman having a very bad night, it can be best described as an endurance test. Inside is ostensibly a torture-porn film, but one with an imagination beyond sticking someone in a chair and having them fucked with. It also manages to transcend the tendency to create a line of gore gags and simply string them together with a thin plot. This is not to say that Inside is wrapped up in complexities -it’s an extremely simple movie- but it moves and flows in a believable way and doesn’t go out of the realm of possibility just to set up a clever gag. Inside will test even the most seasoned of horror viewers, and isn’t for the feint of heart.
Buy the DVD from CHUD!
Directed By Paul Verhoeven
Blood Level: High (and heavy on the goop)
On occasion, science fiction can give horror a run for its money in the gore department. While the genre is usually known for it’s more cerebral horrors, when you get a director like Paul Verhoeven at the helm, you are in store for a bloody ride. There’s no better way for Verhoeven to spoof a war-mongering culture than showing war in as ridiculously violent a light as possible. Introducing a swarming planet of bugs as the enemy work brilliantly when you need a target that can be dispatched in a continuous sticky fashion. So the bugs explode constantly, and the human characters are also destroyed often and in the most brutal way possible. It’s a refreshing thing to get your blood and guts from something other than a masked psychopath every once in a while. Starship Troopers is an intensely likable film, and has been deservedly featured on a previous CHUD list of perfect films.
Blood Level: Painfully Realistic
I hate to take a fun list and drag it somewhere truly dark, but it would be a mistake to give up an opportunity to talk about one of the most powerful films of 2009. The Cove documents the efforts of a group of nature preservationists and activists as they attempt to put a camera to the atrocities happening in the dolphin fishing districts of Japan. One cove in particular is a brutal slaughterhouse that spends several months out of the year systematically butchering thousands and thousands of mercury-laden dolphins that are filtered into the Japanese food system. Much of the movie is presented as a reality TV take on a spy adventure, as the group use clever methods to hide cameras and audio equipment. Towards the end of the film though, when the results of their efforts are displayed, the documentary punches you in the gut. It is a painful thing to wittiness this relatively large pond become a red lake of blood as these creatures, which the film postulates might be sentient, are taken out. This is not prop blood thrown about for a good time, this is the real blood of innocent creatures, spilled in an indescribably dangerous reach for cash. This blood is a call to arms to pay more attention to what is going on in the smaller corners of the earth, and to take action when things aren’t right.
The Cove Trailer:
Get involved: http://www.thecovemovie.com/