In this series, I will take you through some of the controversial & disturbing films that you can find on the free streaming service, Tubi TV.
1) Live Feed (2006)
If I hadn’t already seen Eli Roth’s Hostel, I probably would have liked this one more as it has a similar premise. I did enjoy this Ryan Nicholson movie more than the previous one, Collar (2004), available on Tubi. There is a certain charm to super low budget horror which comes with mediocre acting, audio editing and cinematography, but this one had great practical gore effects and stars “legit” actor Kevan “thirst trap” Ohtsji. Kevan has appeared on many TV shows like Riverdale, Stargate SG-1, and Altered Carbon. He gave a great performance for a somewhat weak script. Sometimes I wonder whether or not Ryan Nicholson hated women (past tense as Nicholson has recently died), or he knows how the world paints them in a very terrible light. While this was a decent film, it is not the strongest on this list.
2) Wizard of Gore (1970)
The splatter master is back with another movie from the Godfather of Gore, HG Lewis! And although the practical effects were quite good (like in Blood Feast (1963)), the story was lacking and repetitive. Yet, I did enjoy the premise about a serial killer magician who, during his stage acts, tortures and maims his “volunteers”, only to have them die later, leaving him “seemingly innocent”. If eye gore makes you queasy, watch out for this one!
3) Schramm (1993)
Now this is a Taboo Terror and from one of my favorite disturbing creators! Schramm is the only Jorg Buttgereit film available on Tubi TV, and though it isn’t my favorite, it’s an interesting take on the serial killer film. It has the classic Jorg filmmaking style which I adore - shot on film, grainy surreal aesthetic, muted colors, great original score. It also brings back actress Monika M from Nekromantik 2 (1991). Schramm is nihilistic; it shows the banality of life where a killer creates elaborate deaths for his victims, yet dies from falling off a ladder. There is an excellent penile torture scene that is not one to miss!
4) Three....Extremes II (2002)
Three Extremes II is the sequel to the excellent anthology Three Extremes (2004) which had heavy hitters in the Asian horror community: Fruit Chan, Takashi Miike and Park Chan-wook. Unfortunately, the sequel has lesser known directors and an obvious budget cut. The three shorts aren’t highly compelling, nor extreme! My favorite was “Going Home” by Peter Ho-Sun Can as it played with more unsettling imagery and story, whereas the other two were more spooky and tame. This is the least disturbing on the list.
5) Bedevilled (2010)
This is the Korean spiritual twin to I Spit on Your Grave (1978). Kim Bok-nam grew up on a remote island where women are seen as inferior to men, and who play very specific gender roles. Bok-nam is beaten regularly by her husband, raped by his brother and forced to listen to her husband copulate with sex workers who are paid very well to come to the island. After a tragic accident, she begins to spiral and everyone must feel her wrath. Normally I would say that this is too long of a movie, but you are compelled by the story of Bok-nam (along with her childhood friend who comes to visit and witnesses the insanity of the island politics). You become enmeshed into this world, never wanting to feel complicit. This might be a tough watch but this unseen gem is highly recommended!