Written by: Greigh Johanson.

The Burning Moon, the German director Olaf Ittenbach's second feature film, which fades a bit more in its performance, unlike Black Past, which I thought was much more entertaining in many ways. This one had a script that could have been fun, but it's significantly worse performed and this is possibly one of Ittenbach's worst movies ever. It still remains to be seen!

It was almost four years between Ittenbach's debut and The Burning Moon, but it's not very much that has changed quality-wise. The camera technology, as well as editing, are the same as before, even though the camera has a finer and more uniform image to the contrasts. But the plot is actually much worse done unlike what we learned from Black Past - and that made me kind of disappointed to be honest.

In The Burning Moon we follow a juvenile crime who drinking alcohol, shooting heroin and fighting. But one day he has to be a babysitter for his little sister. Therefore, he decides to find out two goodnight stories that no one else would tell a youngster.

The first goodnight story that our addict gives us is called "Julia's Love" and is about a crazy killer. He escapes from a mental hospital and puts a young woman in hostage and kills her entire family. But the blood-filled scenes and the slaughter that had previously been promised were milder than I expected. I was disappointed that the blood did not spray as much as I wanted it to do. Lame!

The second goodnight story is called "The Purity" and tells us about a priest in devil worship who secretly walks around and kills the inhabitants. Unfortunately, another villain is accused of the attacks because he is considered odd because of his absence. The remaining villagers invest money and decide to kill him, but what they don't know is that the priest has put a curse in the village and those who bullied and stumble up the unbelief will face the flames of hell with evil deadness.

The last sequence in The Purity is just about "Hell" and it shows us a long and elaborate scene on what's going on deep down there. The purity is so terribly long that it isn't worth the waiting for the last sequences. I also didn't think the scene was performed very nicely just because Ittenbach chose to summarize the result in the smallest detail possible. It's just so boring in the long run.

To judge "The Burning Moon" in its entirety, it all felt like a meaningless pastime. I can brag that I could keep me awake for almost two hours - but it was not a funny experience at all. I'd rather stared into an empty wall like a catatonic mental patient and imagine something more peaceful and better. And yes, I'm very aware that Ittenbach has a long section of goodies in front of him, but from his wide film market this is one of the worst I have seen so far.

Rating: 1.5 out of 5.

Directed by: Olaf Ittenbach
Written by: Olaf Ittenbach
Produced by: Olaf Ittenbach
Cinematography by: Michael Müller
Editing by: Walter Szewczyk
Special Effects by: Olaf Ittenbach
Music by: A.G. Striedl
Cast: Olaf Ittenbach, Beate Neumeyer, Bernd Muggenthaler, Ellen Fischer, Alfons Sigllechner, Barbara Woderschek, Helmut Neumeyer, Andrea Arbter, Herbert Holzapfel, Thomas Deby, Karl-Heinz Nebbe, Karin Dellinger
Year: 1992
Country: Germany
Language: German
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 26min

Distributor: IMAS Filmproduktion



CHERISH (2016)

Written by: Richard Taylor.

U.K. wacko's Freckerr Productions are fairly new on the scene with their debut short Turn Heel awhile back and now they have delivered an even more twisted myriad of madness with Cherish.  A short which encompasses the groups fascination with real life extreme viral videos it would seem.  A long segment in the film is taken up by different disgusting real life videos looping such as animal cruelty, various extreme sexual acts and real life accidents, executions and murders.

One compilation of sick shit that comes to mind is The Most Disturbed Person on Planet Earth which is probably the most well known but I'm sure there are dozens of others that I'm not familiar with as I don't watch many mondo features or real death videos.  Years ago I did watch most of The Traces Of Death videos because I was a big fan of death metal music and the combination of death metal and real death footage was a winning combination in my opinion. From time to time I come across a scattered video on Facebook or online that the little Satan on my shoulder takes over and tells me click that play button such as The Mexican Chainsaw Massacre where two drug cartel traitors are executed in graphic fashion with chainsaw and knife or 3 Guys, 1 Hammer where these Russian Dnepropetrovsk maniacs kids killing and filming with their phone the bum with the screwdriver and cutting him open, one I had to switch off as it was too bothersome to finish.

Cherish uses that rough looking poor VCR fuzzy tracking quality to give it that extra snuff style footage quality like you shouldn't be watching kind of feel to it.  We also get footage that makes it seem like the movie was taped over some cartoons and also with an absence of credits they try to give it that authenticity. I think the short film offers some decent atmosphere here with the music of Brian Paulin's band Syoth adding an extra feel of rage fueled insanity into the mix.

I like the idea and what Freckerr Productions were trying to achieve with this, it definitely has a nasty edge to it and with this budget I think they did as much as they could with the effects.  Not much dialogue except a couple lines from the couple who find the tape and are lured, drugged and tortured. I was trying to figure out what was up with the goofy happy go lucky music looping in particular scenes but I guess there has to be a light contrast somewhere amongst all the doom and gloom.

I think the use of the film footage could have been lessened a bit, I get the idea that the real life footage is extreme but if I want to see  a lot of that shit I will watch one of the compilations especially the sexual stuff with girls shoving different over sized objects in their anuses and pussies. Its overused, I get the idea already, I don't need to see champagne bottles, pineapples and whatever the fuck else they can fit in there, women have babies, I know, I have kids, I was there.

The story in Cherish follows a couple who while out frolicking one day in the park having a gay old time stumble upon a fucked up looking video cassette tape covered in bloody guts.  The girlfriend doesn't want anything to do with it but the boyfriend wants to take it home and watch it.  Little do the poor saps know it was strategically placed there by a group that like performing some of the same shit that is featured on the tape.  The couple  take it home and watch it, obviously the cult followed them and slip some shit in their drinks while they are away and thus the two end up in  the clutches of these snuff film making maniacs as part of their next production.  The two are tied to chairs and tortured and killed in various ways.  Some of the effects in this are very memorable such as the highlight for me technical-wise being the garden shear castration sequence and a nice gut pulling scene scene to go with it.

Cherish is a decent short, Freckerr Productions definitely have the right mindset and hopefully continue to grow and improve with each movie they put out there.  The crew are big underground movie fans so they definitely understand the struggle and passion of putting time into this stuff which is usually a pure labor of love.  Check out Freckerr Productions on Facebook as they have another film in the works titled Mummy Cop and are definitely the personification of low budget underground indie film making.

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Directed by: Freckerr Productions
Written by: Freckerr Productions
Produced by: Christopher Wykes
Cinematography by: Freckerr Productions
Editing by: Christopher Wykes
Special Effects by: Christopher Wykes, JG and Matt Freckingham
Music by: Syoth
Cast: Baron Mynd's 2 Unknown Females, Dan Grainger, Kerr Wykes, Matt Freckingham
Year: 2016
Country: U.K
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 26min

Distributor: Freckerr Productions



OFF{AL} (2016)

Written by: Richard Taylor.

Aussie mad man Splat aka David Chopping delivers this evil little deity of a short film upon the underground masses.  Chopping is a long time supporter of underground films and associate of Extreme Horror Cinema www.extremehorrorcinema.com who are a group who share the latest extreme horror news/reviews/interviews.  This short was also featured on Volume 4 of Yan Kaos Underground Gore Shorts Anthology which is a sick compilation of international gore short films digging up only the most vile shit for true underground gore freaks to feast upon.  Contact Yan D.I.Y. and Splat/David Chopping on Facebook for more info on their sick material.  

This version of Off(al) is a bit different from the release on the gore shorts compilation I believe.  This one is in black and white and the other one is in color with a couple of other differences in editing. Off(al) is a dank ass down and dirty trip into the deranged mind of a baby mutilating maniac who lives a tormented existence as a sick dog of society.  The plot is simple and there is basically no dialogue but you the atmosphere and music really strike a nerve in your subconsciousness with the sheer feeling of dread and darkness it displays on the screen.

The little bit of dialogue there is has the maniac (played by Splat) playfully commenting on how cute the dead babies eyes are as the wretched and broken fetus is suffocatingly disposed of in a transparent plastic bag.  What makes it even more twisted is the showing of the familiar saying that comes written on the bag commenting how the bag can be harmful if it comes in contact with children and how it can suffocate them, a rather twisted bit of content which also brings to light some sick ass satire here.

The beginning of the short has the character bothered by nonstop crying from what would be clearly identified as an infant.  I'm not sure if its his infant or not but later on he dons a nightmare inducing mask and we see the baby is dead in a bag which he has placed in a bathroom sink.  He then proceeds to mutilate it with a pocket knife and we get some fucked up visuals of the infants severed head detached from the carcass laying in the sink.  Some other sick shit ensues including a self inducing vomiting session.

I think this a great and moody little short, a one man project which delivers some chilling visuals, atmosphere and a great haunting soundtrack.  Contact Yan D.I.Y. on Facebook to check it out with a bunch of other great shorts or at the very least contact Splat/David Chopping on Facebook where he has a link where you can watch it for free.  Cheers and support from Canada, throw another dead baby on the bar-b.

Rating: 3 out of 5

Directed by: David Chopping
Written by: David Chopping
Produced by: David Chopping
Cinematography by: David Chopping
Editing by: David Chopping
Special Effects by: David Chopping
Music by: David Chopping
Cast: David Chopping
Year: 2016
Country: Australia
Language: English
Color: Black & White
Runtime: 14min

Distributor: Mental Head Trauma Films



Written by: Greigh Johanson.

When I was in middle school I wanted to make my own splatter movie. I was inspired after I watched Peter Jackson's "Bad Taste" at an very early age, and of course, the concept had been much more amateurish in response to an 18mm film camera that reacts in grain pixels when the light is published in the wrong place. And the actors would be familiar with friends, family and cheap material. This description also fits well in how Olaf Ittenbach's debut movie Black Past has been produced, albeit a bit better than what my childhood dream had looked like if it ever became true, which I now, 22 years later, don't think will happen.

This is as homemade as the little splatter sequence that always appeared in the captions of an old hired VHS cassette between the 80-90s (Something that was recorded to provoke adult parents of course) and Black Past might as well have been one of these clips.

Black Past is about Thommy, the teenager who defies his family - he is intoxicated with alcohol as soon as something goes wrong in daily life. At school he has become interested in Petra, the most difficult girl in class, and after a few tries he succeeds in winning her heart. When Thommy invites Petra, she soon comes in contact with a mirror hanging on the wall in his boyroom. What she doesn't know is that the mirror contains a hellova curse and sends demons from another dimension. She gets obsessed and goes out of the house and gets hit by a car. Thommy takes care of Petra's death and circumventes a deep depression. But something is revealing and Thommy gets delusions and constantly dreaming of how Petra returns to life to kill him.

The plot is very simple structured and could have been made a thousand times better with the flair Ittenbach experienced today. Much of the dialogue doesn't feel lively and energetic as I wish - which in turn leads to excessive sleeping moments. The deliberately bad comedy is doing extra badly when you notice how disappointment is expressed. But this is after all an amateur movie at high school level - so you should not expect anything special from the prescribed performance.

The clothes, the hairstyles and the music really screams from the 80's. I don't understand that people really dressed so ruthlessly? It's probably that part of the movie that's most humorous because Olaf Ittenbach has one of the most ridiculous mullets I've ever seen and the synth-hairstyles from that time can't be compared to today's equipment. But what gave Olaf Ittenbach his big name in the underground world is that he takes such an enormous natural talent in special-effects. Black Past is a gold mine and contains substantially more bloodshed and gut than Peter Jackson's "Bad Taste" did three years earlier.

Black Past is not the movie you view in terms of its action and script. Black Past is the movie you admire because of the deep bizarre entertainment violence that works as well as placing fireworks in the hand of a child - You get excited and just want more!

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Directed by: Olaf Ittenbach
Written by: Olaf Ittenbach
Produced by: Olaf Ittenbach, Michael Müller, André Stryi
Cinematography by: Michael Müller
Editing by: Brigitte Armbrüster
Special Effects by: Olaf Ittenbach
Music by: Martin Lutz, Thomas Reitmair
Cast: Olaf Ittenbach, Andrea Arbter, André Stryi, Alfons Sigllechner, Susanne Nebbe, Sonja Berg, Ivo Tischler, Rudolf Wimmer, Anette Arbter, Andreas Mehringer, Alexander Suslow, Michael Müller, Hildegard Bogner, Gabriele Wernitz, Tassilo Schuhmacher, Nicole Beger-Hinzen
Year: 1989
Country: Germany
Language: German
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 25min

Distributor: IMAS Filmproduktion




Review by: Ivar Malm.

Let me present this sick one-man Pathological Blasting goregrind/gorenoise project ACTIVE STENOSIS from Grecce. If you're familar with bands like Last Days of Humnaity, Bowel Leakage  etc, then you will fucking love this piece of sickness.

Active Stenosis has been active since 2009 and has released some splits/singels and EPs through the years, but this one is AS's first full-length masterpiece, released on CD in 2015 through Eyes Of The Dead Productions.

SUCCUMBED TO INFECTION delivers a sound of ultra blasting drum-programming with sticky lowtuned guitars and ultra pitch shift vocals with high pitch screams - 25 tracks of pure deadly blasting patholigical goregrind/noise - Every track is about a surgical or pathogical theme which suits this kind of grind perfect.

I'm a sucker for that kind of grind - Disgusting and gory. It also delivers a perfect type of goregrind that every brutal goregrinder should checkout; a truly masterpiece in the underground - one of my big favourites out there.

If you're looking for a perfect and well made style of brutal as fuck grind without the shitty and boring political stuff, then you've the perfect release right over here - And remember, this is nothing for the power metal dudes. Moahaha.

You can download it for free right here:

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

All music and lyrics by: Ioannis "NX5" Adamidis (except for track 23)
Photography by: LaLa*
Engineered/mixed/mastered by: Ioannis "NX5" Adamidis
Recorded in: November 2014.

Active Stenosis are: Ioannis "NX5" Adamidis (Everything)

Official facebook: https://www.facebook.com/activestenosis/
Official bandcamp: https://activestenosis.bandcamp.com