Thursday, July 30, 2015

THE HOUSE WITH 100 EYES (2014)

THE HOUSE WITH 100 EYES (2014) 

Label: Artsploitation Films

Region Code: 1
Rating: Unrated
Duration: 76 Minutes
Audio: English Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound, Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo with Optional English Subtitles
Video: Anamorphic Widescreen (1.78:1)
Director: Jay Lee, Jim Roof
Cast: Jim Roof, Shannon Malone, Larissa Lynch, Liz Burghdorf, Andrew Hopper

Synopsis: It’s Henry – Portrait of a Serial Killer meets This is Spinal Tap in the gory mockumentary THE HOUSE WITH 100 EYES, the grisliest, darkest horror-comedy ever imaginable. Ed and Susan are just your average, middle-class American suburban married couple: they have their quirks, their romantic moments, their hobbies. One of these hobbies has even turned into a small business venture for the couple…because Ed and Susan are also serial killers who sell snuff videos of their crimes through the Internet underground. Since Ed is determined that their next video will surpass all of their previous work, he has decided that it will feature three kills in one night – but after they abduct their intended victims, things don’t go as planned. Filmed entirely through the perspective of Ed’s many cameras, and labeled “one of the greatest horror films of the century” by Film Radar, this film is as shocking as it is slyly satirical about violence and media exploitation.

I love Artsploitation Films and the strange brew of cinema they're known for, each release

offers something different, they're a pretty fantastic distributor and 2015 has been a fantastic year for the label. I've been on board with pretty much everything they've done so far, but this one for whatever reason sat on my shelf for weeks before I could muster up the enthusiasm to watch it. I think that owes a lot to the found-footage aesthetic of it, and I think I am might have been going through a bit of a cinema verite fatigue there for a little while, so I just put it aside until I felt I could watch it without any baggage, and today was that day. 

My fears were unfounded, true there's a glut of found footage out there but like the eternal wellspring of zombie movies there is always someone out there doing something new with it, for every five shit films you might find a gem among the shale, and such is the case with The House with 100 Eyes, a mockumentary along the lines of The Rise and Fall of Leslie Vernon, a documentary that takes you behind the scenes with serial killers Ed and Susan, a demented couple who operate and underground film studio they call Studio Red, a distributor who offers quality snuff films with all the special features you would expect from a straight studio film, and I thought that was a fun conceit, and a darkly funny one at that. 

Ed and Susan are a blast to watch, the film opens with them filming an intro of sorts for the latest film project, a triple feature snuff film - the first of it's kind. They are attempting to kill three people in one night at the same time. They inform us of their intentions and describe how their home has been set-up with numerous hidden camera, additionally it has been sound proofed, and comes complete with a nightmare torture chamber and a porn-styled studio with a mattress on the floor and a simple camera set-up. As they go about their preparations for the event we are treated to shots from the hidden cameras as they apply make-up, make the morning coffee and assemble their murder-van kit, before they head on out to Hollywood Boulevard to find three tens who are willing to come back to their place to shoot amateur porn for a few hundred dollars. The first pass doesn't go so well, Ed is pretty anxious and when one of the disinterested teens throws some sarcasm his way he threatens to eviscerate them, leaving his wife to calm him down and reminding him they;d best leave the area before the cops show up. 

Eventually the twisted couple do find three teens willing to make some amateur porn and bring them back to their place where things start off surprisingly well at first, all their preparations seem to be paying off.  However, things begin to fall apart when one of the young women begins to lose her nerve, expressing her desire to back out. She is quietly escorted to the torture chamber where Ed subjects her to some squirm inducing punishment, which he delights in to no end, he has a child like  enthusiasm for violence. Back in the porn room things are further delayed when the young man blows his load in the shower before shooting the porn, which sends Ed right over the edge, worried he won't get his money-shot for the movie. 

Ed has a deep need for the porn along with his torture films, an earlier scene shows Ed sitting alone in the living room while watching a previously taped torture sessions while furiously masturbating to the grisly images and the excruciating sounds of screaming, it's a very dark scene. His wife on the other hand is more of a poisoner, she's just itching to inject someone with something, which is at odds with Ed's intentions, several times during the film he questions what she's injecting into their victims, making sure that she is only sedating them and not poisoning them, apparently she's prematurely poisoned victims before, which ruined the movies. 

Shannon Malone is pretty fantastic as Sue, a crazy-eyed blond who seems just a little off, as you might expect of a serial killer, but there's some kind of extra crazy in her performance, something subtle but very clear. During an earlier scene she is narrating while she applies make-up in the bathroom, explaining how her mother taught her to give a good man everything he wants, but to give bad men exactly what they deserve, which feeds into the story later on when her and Ed are odds with each other.

Special Features:
-  Audio Commentary with Director/Actor Jim Roof and Director/Cinematographer Jay Lee
- Trailer(2 Mins)
- Ed's Studio Red Sizzle Reel (2 Mins
- Ed's Studio red Gag Reel (8 Mins) 

- Artsploitation Trailers

I enjoyed this one a lot, a pitch black satire and a fun watch. T he finale reveals itself long before its meant to but I loved the vibe and the inherent comedy herein, the actors portraying the demented couple to a great job nailing the specific tone this movie required, if you like myself are maybe fatigued by the glut of the found-footage horror films on the market right now you might be surprised by The House with 100 Eyes and what it has to offer,a recommend, particularly if you enjoyed The Rise and Fall of Leslie Vernon which mines similar territory. 3/5

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