Blaze of Gory - From the Shadows Films.
Written by Jay Creepy   
Sunday, 22 October 2017
Severed Cinema Review of Blaze of Gory from From the Shadows Films

AKA: Blaize-Alix Szanto's Blaze of Gory

Directed by: David VG Davies, MJ Dixon, Andy Edwards, Simon Edwards, Yana Kolesnyk, Antoni McVay, Robert Noel Gifford, Blaize-Alix Szanto, Jason Wright, Chris Yardley
Written by: David VG Davies, Blaize-Alix Szantos
Produced by: David VG Davies, Anna Dixon, MJ Dixon, Andy Edwards, Simon Edwards, Yana Kolesnyk, Rob Leese Jones, Antoni McVay, Robert Noel Gifford, Dean Sills, Jason Wright
Cinematography by: David VG Davies, Simon Craig, Tom Lloyd, David Mordley
Editing by: MJ Dixon, David VG Davies, Andy Edwards, Simon Edwards, Antoni McVay
Music by: Chris J Nairn, Robert Noel Gifford, Aaron Siebert, Benjamin Symons, Synoiz, Michael Trapp
Special Effects by: Bam Goodall, David VG Davies, Neil Stevens, Justin Becker, Juliana Ratcliff.
Cast: Martin Hancock, Emily Booth, Elle Alexandra, Ruby Barlow, Nathan Head, Damien Colletti, Dean Sills, David VG Davies, Juliette Strange, Demitri Turin, Raimi Hilmi, Sabrina Dickens.
Year: 2017
Country: UK
Language: English
Color: Color
Runtime: 1h 50min

Distribution: From the Shadows
 

David VG Davies is a sick lad. I mean, he's truly sick. He was responsible for perhaps the ultimate in car crash rubber neck gore and disgust when he released Animal Soup (see review here) back in 2009. I have met him at conventions a few times now and he is possibly, aside from the sickest, the hardest working UK underground artist in films I know of. I interviewed him around the same time (right here), mentioning the up and coming anthology film, Blaze of Gory. Let's get it point blank here, there is somebody sicker than him in that camp and she is a teenage girl. She began writing some of the most deep-down tread-your-face-into-the-shit stories throughout her school life which got her noticed by teachers -- not a good thing. However, David VG Davies got his hands on some of her tales of madness and, with her blessing, began a very long journey to construct a movie which may just be the one to decimate all anthologies to come before it. Or at least wave a tissue covered in blood -- plus some spongy pieces of god knows what at them and say, “Low budget! More imagination!”

After adapting her stories (he actually had to tone down the contents here and there!!), then gathering a mob of hungry directors, including MJ (Slasher House 1 & 2, Hollower, Legacy of Thorn) Dixon, Robert Noel (The Wishing Box, The Devil's Snow) Gifford, and Blaize-Alix Szanto herself on one of her creations, the movie grew like a deformed embryo.

Blaze of Gory opens with striking and doom filled music. We watch skin being lovingly teased off a living gagged-up victim. Yep, it's Blaize herself making somebody suffer, then no chance to breath, we're right into story one: The Beer Cellar. As a pub, The Styx Ferryman, closes up for the night. The people inside watch a brief news report regarding missing girls.

“According to the news, you're already in Dover.” says the guilty one as he forces food into the mouth of one of the girls who he has chained up in the cellar. After dinner, he has a good wank over one of them as she pants and gasps in fear. Once he's finished, his lass finds him sat on the stairs. She tries talking to him, knowing something is wrong, but to no avail. However, things deepen and become more violent upon knowing that she is aware of their existence in the cellar and why they are actually down there.

Story two: If You Were Here begins with a bloke sounding like Joe Spinell in Maniac. He has just stabbed a young blonde. Ah, but it ‘twas a dream the blonde endured. Sophie has a vendetta, to return to somewhere from her past. It's a house, her childhood home. She dumps a few boxes down in the entrance and, as she walks away, we hear that Spinell breathing from a dark corner. Evening draws in. She listlessly unpacks whilst drinking a glass of wine. Trying to receive a channel on the shitty fat back charity shop TV left behind years ago, she gives in and loads a videotape. I love this old school scene. Assume nobody in the neighbourhood burgles houses, or she's so fashion conscious retro that she brought them along. She watches a slasher flick similar to the flea pit cinema one that Rob lost interest to in, Nekromantik. Our girl falls asleep only to be shocked awake by the scream queen being tied up and abused. “Oh, fuck!” Sophie murmurs and sits watching more.

Suddenly the killer turns to gaze at her from the TV and just glares. She walks from the room in rather badly acted shock. Wandering upstairs, a childhood flashback starts to unfold why she is there and what happened. It's all very reminiscent of Ulli Lommel's, The Boogeyman, but without the mirror and a little twist to conclude.

So, let's meet, Toby, the title character of tale number three: Sick Little Boy. He has a split personality who likes to put him down and upset him. Toby also has a father who tries to understand his son, but meanwhile, is possessive and creepy to his young girlfriend, Emma. “He never listens to you. Know why? He despises you!” Toby's other self says one day after his father has caught him sniffing Emma's panties. “Don't worry, I'll take care of it...”

Young and Naive involves a hooded man who has a disturbing scrapbook and a hatchet. We follow his work on two latest victims. After this comes, Abort, which is simply grim and a donkey punch to your head. Beginning with a haphazard blitz of brutal murders, after which an unnamed central woman goes to a seedy group of Russians who help abort her baby, and has a girl in a cage for filthy men. She dies and the baby is alive, which leaves a predicament for the men who run it. Twelve years pass and things are really starting to get nasty. This is probably the most nihilistic out of control section of the film but at the same time, the weakest due to poor editing and a really crap ending which achieves nothing.

Thankfully, the next chapter, Snow, saves us by side-lining the viewer from the memory of that misfire. Filmed in deep white Norway (while catching the cameraman in a glass) and based around a crude fairy-tale, this one is so random it's great. “Tissue, tissue in my hand, who's the fairest in the land?” Rayna is interviewed about a murder and she tells all. “Why should anyone be more beautiful than me?” I won't spoil this one too much.

The same can be said for, The Masque of the Red Rape. What brings this one to the front is the style of shooting which comes across like a snuff film. Oh, so what? Loads of fake snuff movies around, lots of spin off spoofs from that genre. Well, the way this one is placed within the rest of the shorts kind of stuns the watcher.  A deep sinister voice explains his doings and swears to rape the hearts and the souls of all who cross him because of the darkness they have all made him exist in. The Masque of the Red Rape lingers, it is grubby. The impact comes from the lingering threat. For instance, Victor, our resident head case, kneels before a video camera and stares akin to Alex in A Clockwork Orange, all the while you can hear flies, and behind him is a bloodstained couch. Victor speaks into a broken telephone to the person he loves on the other side of the curtains that tells him to kill people. Masterful! So far this is the show stopper. Well done, Robert Noel Gifford for truly showing a snapshot of grief and insanity.

“So, this is her? The famous, Stacy.” sneers the men in white coats. For Monster, we are in a psychiatric hospital and dark-haired, Stacy, huddles on her bed surrounded by sketches of horror. Stacy has had “so much electric shock therapy, it's a wonder she don't light up like a fuckin' Christmas tree.” She is a teenager who has been in and out of the hospital since burning her Father to death as a child. What do you think happens when one of the staff and his partner in crime, who is a staff nurse, decides to rape, her amongst other things? There's a cool link with this story and Snow (in fact if you watch each story closely, some do connect in subtle ways). The sheer fluid dreamy style of Monster puts it in the top three on show here.

So, welcome to the grand finale! Precious is totally out of place here and that's what makes it so brilliant. A team of exorcists off the TV visit a housing estate and perform an exorcism with bloody results. What more can I say?

Don't switch off at the credits, lest you miss a neat and capsule sized story throughout, directed by Chris Yardley, as a couple move into a tranquil cottage accompanied by a thumping pulsating soundtrack and loads of crackles on the screen, grindhouse style. When loud rock blasts, then the fun begins. Trust me, you simply won't want to miss this tiny slice.

Look, don't come into Blaze of Gory expecting plot twists for each fragment, which sometimes come with short story anthologies. Do expect bleak and harrowing violence. I mean, a collage of violent scenes. Power-drill to the neck, multiple stabbings, blades in the crotches, hackings, butchered body parts, tongue severed off... Had this been the early eighties and Mary Whitehouse was at her peak, I figure a half hour version of this one would have reached the rental stores after so many cuts!

There's a lot of known name faces amongst the newcomers on show here. We have, Emily (Evil Aliens, Cradle of Fear) Booth, Martin (Coronation Street, Kingdom of Heaven, Screwed) Hancock, and others who chuck in their load with a mass of underground folks, which gives some chapters more intensity than others. For myself, however, the top talent has to be, Damien Colletti, as Victor. He could dissolve a diamond with his glare.

The pre-recorded and repeated old movie scream you can hear throughout Monster, made me chuckle, as did the whole collectives obsession with knives. Blaze of Gory is a masterly woven and disturbed gateway into a hell-like edifice. Imagine every room has another vision of pure gore. Yes, this pushes many buttons in an elevator to Hell. A few of these shorts could easily be adapted into extended films, which is a fair complement because they were so good they needed more time. Others were lesser and deserved to fade from recall.

Regardless, the choice cuts are hits and make Blaze of Gory a cult classic. As cool as some of the early ones are, once Snow arrives it fucks you in the face, then everything after it pounds you into the wall and you eat brick dust, plus your own faeces.

Blaze of Gory is simply and truthfully in a playground by itself, surrounded by mutilated dolls and feverishly written on damaged school books. Jaw dropping.

 

 

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 RATING:
 MOVIE: 1 
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3.22 Copyright (C) 2007 Alain Georgette / Copyright (C) 2006 Frantisek Hliva. All rights reserved."

Last Updated ( Sunday, 22 October 2017 )