typicalfilm – Sun Choke

suncSun Choke (2015)

This one caught my eye over the summer and I was surprised to see it on Netflix already. Had I known how great it was, I’d have rented it. Perhaps many other people have the same thought and that is why it is on a subscription site already? To say Barbara Crampton elevates this out of mumble-core territory belies the strength of Sarah Hagan and her gently creeping performance. I’m loathe to place it there to begin with but it does have a very quiet and insular feel with minimalist script and setting. Add skulking emo hoodied teens, and it seems to beg to be placed in that category, if only to claw its way out. Sun Choke is so much more than a summary, however, and no description or trailer really captures what I was in for. Hypnotic from the outset and vague enough to pose a puzzle, it’s full of this quiet terror you just can’t quite put your finger on. By the time you’ve forgotten that you are watching a horror film, it hits you right over the head with genre nastiness. Three days later, it is still on my mind, and each day I want to just watch it again.

Bonus – A Sunchoke is a jerusalem artichoke. Sort of a cross between a daisy and sunflower on sight. The roots are edible and not unlike a potato.

typicalfilm – El Gore’s Snuff Tape Anthology

elgoreEl Gore’s Snuff Tape Anthology (released, Black Lava, 2016)

For months I’d been crazy curious about segment 7, Gore Abortion, for the title alone. Segment 3 and the final ‘Lost Snuff Tape’ were really the stand out reels here while most fell flat for me. I did enjoy my time with this in that hypnotic gore way. Not everyone enjoys that, however, and I’ll maintain there are only a few minutes overall that stuck with me days after. Fun if you enjoy faux-snuff and wish to see all examples, but really only satisfies that. One cadaver was meticulously crafted and enjoyed the bulk of screen time, though I longed for Remi Couture levels of craftsmanship! Using the sounds of tapes being loaded into a VHS player in between segments proved a far more immersive tool than I’d have ever thought. Shows how ingrained those sounds are to one who watched one Hell of a lot of video nastiness as a kid! This is on vimeo for some crazy reason right now, for a decent rental price but the purchase price would make more sense to order as the physical release has additional content.