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Danzig Bound By Blood
Titillation – that’s what we all need now. If the walls have began to close in and the white noise is humming, then what better than some mindless violence or oily pre-coital vixens in pig-tails and pop socks to help raise our ailing fortunes. I need me a fix of the obscene every day of my life and I’m fairly sure I’m not flying solo on this one. We’re all fascinated by the desecration of the flesh if we’re totally honest. Remember this is like the place you come for a rectal health examination so if you hear my gloves go ping behind you don’t be alarmed. You may however, feel a slight pinch.
Here we can admit to our darkest sexual desires and feel content that we’re in good company. We love a good spattering of blood in our popcorn and, by the same token, have our meaty sheesh poked in through the base of the container so that’s both sides covered. It’s as though there’s a town crier in our heads, ringing the bell and hollering “pussy”, “blood-letting” and “grotesque imagery” just to get the juices flowing. Whatever that crier does it bloody works you know. It’s like visual Tourette’s, should you present me with a nubile co-ed and a bucket of swine cruor then I would invariably match the two together. Hold on…that doesn’t make me a wrong ‘un does it? Of course it doesn’t, we can all breathe a collective sigh of relief as we’re all sick puppies here. No need for concealment, let’s just let it all hang out shall we.
Let’s first study all the facts we have at our disposal. I shall generalize but this should give us a faint idea of what we’re dealing with at the very least. The human body is ordinarily made up of around 8-12 pints of blood, around 62,000 miles worth of blood vessels, two breasts (occasionally both sexes) and either an “innie” or an “outtie” dependent on the gifts we are given. With those facts in mind, I have absolutely no idea what my point was going to be and, to avoid the crook coming in from the curtain beside me, I say let’s all look at some titties covered in blood.
Right…refreshed…feeling that a-game once more. Not sure where I left off but dang those are some fine-assed jubblies above us don’t you think? They hang like blushing verandas and it is becoming hard for me to focus, to be totally true. Persevere I shall as I am Keeper and have pledged to take this one for the team. The things I do…I’m telling you I know no other scribe out there with this level of commitment to their readership. While you all suck on your skinny lattes I’ll be here grinding away, trudging through the worldwide web, trying to locate as many obnoxious visuals as I think it will take to sate your insatiable appetites.
Isn’t it freeing just cutting her loose sometimes, reveling in our own depravity and sliding out those filters after a long day in the office. I don’t know about y’all but I find stamp collecting rather a drab past-time and bird-watching shouldn’t always have to be about beaks and feathers should it? We are all past the age of consent and we all have monkeys to spank, fleshy harps to pluck and wireless transmitters to tune. Thus, I offer a banquet for the senses, a melange of flange and a veritable spread of bloody giblets. That should keep us all fueled up to the next service station at least.
Puritans would possibly claim me to be some kind of cantankerous evil mastermind and, to be honest, they can just shorten that to mastermind. Apparently there is a fine line between art and exploitation and I come mighty close on many occasions to overstepping the balance it seems. Is this intentional? Yes. Am I a shock-jock? No…well yes, a little maybe. I enjoy provoking a reaction but more out of inclination to spark discussion and test those boundaries, just to keep folk on their toes. I am well familiar with the concept of restraint, it’s just that I choose to apply it sporadically.
I’ve been watching gory horror since I was but a wee nipper and spent most of my scholarship years attempting to locate as many of the video nasties as I could get my grubby little paws on. Back then there was no DVD technology, it was the era of the video cassette and we were ban in the center of the BBFC’s clampdown so I had to find alternative means of finding treasures like Nightmare In A Damaged Brain and Anthropophagus The Beast. Funnily enough there was a guy, seedier than a baker’s bap, who used to lurk at the school gates enticing us with his selection of unsavory tapes for £5 a pop. Looking back now, I was fortunate not to end up as the asshole-end of some demented human centipede but thankfully I evaded such a fate.
He introduced me to such infamous classics as Cannibal Ferox, Don’t Go In The House and Evilspeak. Many of the much-lauded ‘nasties’ were nowhere near as depraved as had been projected and, looking back, it shows the incompetence of the BBFC that these were made an example of in the first place. Dario Argento’s fine giallo Tenebrae was one such piece of art, whipped from circulation as though it was exploitative trash of the lowest grade it is, in fact, a beautifully shot whodunnit with much to commend.
The censors had a field day with a scene towards the end whereby one unfortunate belle had her arm relocated from the elbow down, leaving her to smear her crimson trail along a whitewashed wall in typical Argento fashion. Considered as standing the wrong side of utter depravity, it was promptly whisked from the shelves and consigned to the sin bin where it remained for years to come. On the other hand there was Nico Mastorakis’ Island of Death which featured none other than full-on goat defilement and therefore had little to be surprised about when the axe fell.
Jörg Buttgereit’s Nekromantik films came about after the original furor and, therefore, many aren’t even aware of their existence. Dealing with the taboo of necrophilia, Jörg’s films piled on the excess without so much as flinching, making damned sure that they weren’t to reach UK shores until long after their conception. Even now, twenty-five years down the line, they still pack a petulant punch and notoriety appears to have followed them through the ages. Many of the supposed ‘nasties’ have been long since reinstated, some in their entirety while seedier works such as Lucio Fulci’s New York Ripper are still trimmed even to this day.
If you glance your eyes over the films prosecuted, there was a real dirge of quality. Bottom-feeders such as Axe, Mardi Gras Massacre, Snuff and Cannibal Man appeared to provoke reaction for their titles alone and are laughably inept pieces of low-rent trash undeserving of our time and effort. Then there were the big players…anything from Fulci, to Abel Ferrara’s The Driller Killer and Wes Craven’s The Last House on The Left. The latter two left a real metallic taste and showcased human depravity, whilst neither were actually particularly deserving of their banned status.
Indeed The Driller Killer appeared to be the film made an example of merely because of its title. The grue was at a premium and only one scene stood out, that being of a vagrant having his noggin ventilated by our cordless killer. Other than that, it was little more than a grungy retread of Taxi Driver. Ferrara has gone on to enjoy a rather distinguished career as a filmmaker, responsible for The Addiction, Body Snatchers and Bad Lieutenant where Harvey Kietel showed a little too much of his crusted plonker than we were prepared for.
The Last House on The Left has only recently been restored to its full capacity and, once again, it’s hard nowadays to decipher the reasons for its notoriety. Evidently, the drawn-out molestation of Mari and Phyllis was a little strong and close to home for many tastes and it is these scenes which have had such a titanic slog making it past the censors. The BBFC take exception to anything involving the unnecessary torture of females and it took the best part of forty years of browbeating before they finally caved in to the persistent requests.
I’ve never been a fan of the movie, truth be told. While there are glimpses of Craven’s endowment behind the lens, particularly during that scene, it leaves a tang which doesn’t sit right, forcing Keeper to take the high road of avoidance. Heck, I’ve never even viewed Irreversible or A Serbian Film for the lone fact that I would never be able to unwatch them afterwards. I may well be a sick little beagle but I do have a moral code and it is my prerogative to exercise it on occasion. So long as there is a degree of enjoyment to be had, no matter how diminutive, then I’m not averse to being made privy to unspeakable acts of violence. For the record, I will watch both films in the coming months!
Nowadays it is all change. The gutter is the limit for young filmmakers looking to ply their trade in Horror. That’s not to say that censorship doesn’t exist, you only need look in the direction of Matt Farnsworth’s seminal The Orphan Killer and the fact that it was recently banned in Germany and, most recently, Australia for appearing to revel in prolonged violence, to know that it is still relatively easy to gain a nation’s disdain with your work should you choose to discard your filter. Nudity, on the other hand, is accepted as the norm and you only need five minutes alone time with your chosen search engine to discover that even the word Glockenspiel can return some eyebrow-raising results should safe search be off.
Sin as though we’re already damned,
Keeper of the Crimson Quill