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                                              The Gorehound’s Review of “Troll Hunter” (2010)

                               


                                        “That guy in the Land Rover is no bear hunter.”

    For decades now, movie fans have come to adore the legacies of Godzilla and King Kong, animals of monstrous proportions with larger-than-life personalities. It seems that the horror pendulum has swayed back to the more cerebral, human killers like Jigsaw, Chromeskull, and the upcoming reboot of Texas Chainsaw’s Leatherface, but one film out of Norway has unleashed a tale of monster lore unto the masses with history dating back to the 1300’s. As long as you don’t mind a little urine sprayed all over the forest, “Troll Hunter” and the Tosserlads will take you on an adventure you’ve never witnessed before.

In modern day Norway, licensed bear hunters have assembled to uncover who the mysterious man in town is that continues to kill their bears. At the same time, a trio of college students also seek out why the mysterious man is there. Obviously, you know what the man does by the movie title, but the students don’t realize it until they follow him too far into the woods and it’s already too late. What becomes a menial curiosity evolves into terror, encased for us movie fans in an “authenticated” documentary of the expeditions.

Hired by the government, citing an overabundance of trolls, the Troll Hunter is sent out to navigate through the dark mountainsides, killing all that he tracks. While not very bright (they like to eat old tires and rocks), they are powerful creatures, and most of them encountered during the film immensely tower over the humans. The first one they come across, a Tosserlad, is a beast with three heads that can blend into the woods. The students come to realize the only way to kill them is by flashing UVB bulbs at them, which turns the beasts to stone. Trust me, it is a sight to see once the creatures are reduced to stone!!               

Shot in the documentary style, much like “The Blair Witch Project” or “Cloverfield”, the thing that keeps viewers going is the action scenes and pending troll attacks, followed up by scenes of the Troll Hunter lending some enrichment to the folklore of trolls and what they are, how they function, and how they survive. Don’t complain just yet though, except for the times they are chased out of the woods or caves, camerawork is mostly steady footage. After my first watch, I was dying to find out how the trolls were created; puppetry? Rather, as seen in the extra features, all the trolls were created through CGI, to which I give a nod to the computer designers producing such life-like creatures enough to warrant fear of an attack from these mythic monsters. To thoroughly enjoy this film, you have to suspend belief and indulge yourself (including your comedic side) into the world Andre Ovredal has created, enhanced with the beautiful landscape of Western Norway. Upon doing some research for this review, I’ve read rights to an American remake has already been settled, and as repulsive as they appear, I’d wish the trolls would slay those who dare wake them again from their slumber!
~Erik The Gorehound~
  
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                             The Gorehound’s Review of
                                    “Little Deaths” (2011)


                


According to imdb.com’s trivia section, “The title 'little deaths' comes from the French term 'la petite mort', which is an idiom and metaphor for the term 'orgasm'.” In this English horror anthology, there sure is a lot of foreplay, and a good amount of penetrating skin-crawling moments too, but “Little Deaths” missed their ‘money shot’ when the era of torture porn was reaching its climax. This film is broken down into three parts, so I’ll briefly sum up each sordid sexcapade….
 
“House and Home”

        The first story tells of an upper-class couple who prey on a homeless woman on the street. Their sadistic tendencies hide behind their well-groomed demeanors and inviting generosity. Once sedated with wine, the homeless girl Sorrow (Holly Lucas) is bound to a bed and physically and verbally abused by the couple (which might even become uncomfortable to the halfhearted horror fans). But sure enough, the look in Sorrow’s eyes during her degradation leads the viewer to believe she will have some sort of revenge. It manifests in some sort of cannibalistic mutation, ripping at Victoria’s (Gull, played by Siubhan Harrison) intestines, then later capturing and torturing her husband Richard (Luke De Lacy). Sorrow’s boyfriend, along with an army of homeless cannibals, come to finish off what’s left of Richard. Quite the twist ending, but a little absurd to have a handful of cannibals arrive after, what had been up to then, some deviant plotline. Harrison plays a beautiful harlot (reminiscent of Gina Gershon in “Showgirls”), and her devilish acting shines through during her scenes with Lucas.
 

“Mutant Tool”

       Dr. Reese is a mad fellow. Hell, anyone who wants to follow in the footsteps of the Nazi human experiments in the 1940’s might be mad! But in this short, Dr. Reese recruits a prostitute and on-again/off-again drug addict, Jen (Jodie Jameson), to test out his latest lucrative project. Dr. Reese keeps a human chained up in a makeshift lab (almost like Jigsaw’s room in Saw III), collecting its semen to process it into tablets made for recovering addicts, like Jen. The treatment begins to unravel when Jen begins to form a mental connection with the disfigured guinea pig by way of dreams and hallucinations. Without spoiling any more, I found this entry to be pretty disturbing. It contains a lot of elements from other films that I love (Requiem for a Dream, Martyrs), but a lot of the dialogue disguises what’s really going on because the plot is hampered into a short time frame. I recommend a second viewing of this entry to digest the full spectrum of its depravity.
           
“Bitch”

     A woman, afraid of dogs, dates a bartender who lives his personal life role playing as a canine in their relationship. Even after the role playing, Claire (Kate Brathwaite) is still dominant over her lover Pete (Tom Sawyer), until a new man, Al (Tommy Carey), steps into their lives following a trip to a local dance club. Upon a failed threesome attempt by Claire, Pete catches Claire and Al during intercourse. Fed up and dejected, Pete exacts revenge on his girlfriend as he unleashes a horde of dogs on her, while handcuffed to a bed and covered in dog food; an instant doggie dinner! This third segment tackles the subjects of sadomasochism and submission which the other two left out.


    I’ve had to give this film some time to settle on my brain, because after only one viewing of it, I probably would have written it off as something I’d never watch again. The combination of sex and horror, when done tastefully, can be an excellent blend for a film (example: Cronenberg’s ‘Videodrome’), but “Little Deaths” tries to push the sexual envelope too far from the horror pole that the genres gel like oil and water. Anthology films are also in a horror subgenre of their own, and it’s very risky to attempt without one segment dragging down the whole film. Most quote Romero’s “Creepshow” as the pinnacle, and I’ve personally enjoyed “Three Extremes” and “Trick R Treat” too, but “Little Deaths” stays at such a mediocre pace all throughout that, while it’s a fair film to casually watch, it doesn’t leave any impression on the viewer. I hope to see better scripts sent to Harrison and Jameson in the future because I see a greater potential in them, but as for the rest of this film, it should have been left on paper….or in their pants.

~Erik the Gorehound~

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