April 07, 2017
The Violent Shit Collection
Andreas Schnaas - 1989
Violent Shit II: Mother Hold My Hand
Andreas Schnaas - 1992
Violent Shit III: Infantry of Doom
Andreas Schnaas - 1999
Violent Shit 4.0: Karl the Butcher vs. Axe
Andreas Schnaas & Timo Rose - 2010
Zombie '90: Extreme Pestilence
Andreas Schnaas - 1991
Synapse Films All Region DVD Three disc set
I'm not the intended viewer for this film, and I'll be the first to admit it. While I have seen, and written about, films depicting extreme violence, I'm hardly a gorehound. But I do think of myself as a lifelong student of film history, and what I have seen is that, especially with genre filmmakers, what may have been dismissed in the past may be re-evaluated in the future. Not that I'm particularly optimistic that Andreas Schnaas will be subject to the kind of critical thoughtfulness given to, for example, Jesus Franco, but I wouldn't completely rule it out.
Schnaas made a film, not in this collection, with a relatively healthy budget of over a million dollars, in English, but with an Italian cast. The heavy accents of his actors doomed any possibility of importing the film. And with the films here, with the nonsensical plots, cheap looking special effects, bad acting and worse dubbing, plus haphazard videography and editing, comparison to Ed Wood, Jr. comes to mind. No angora fetish, but lots of blood, as well as the offerings of a very generous butcher. The first two Violent Shit films would seem to be made for viewers who find the latter films of Lucio Fulci too plot heavy.
The comparison to Ed Wood is not only based on the competency of the filmmaking. Andreas Schnaas obviously is passionate about making films, but what I've seen would indicate that his ambitions are beyond his abilities. There's some similarity in the subject matter with films involving zombies, science gone wrong, and the grandiose ambitions of the main characters. Like Wood, Schnaas has the ability to round up a group of friends for the cast. Unlike Wood, there is a strain of self-aware humor throughout the films.
I'm not familiar with any of the other German filmmakers who emerged in the 1980s with extreme horror films other than Jorg Buttgereit. Having reviewed the blu ray releases of his films, I have a sense of artistry that Schnaas lacks. I can hardly minimize how graphic these films are with decapitations, breasts carved off, sexual organs mutilated, with one poor guy literally torn a new asshole. Some of the influences are obvious, like Night of the Living Dead and Texas Chainsaw Massacre, as well as the post-apocalypse films that followed Mad Max. Even within the context of the genre, the misogyny gets uncomfortably heavy-handed. Then again, these films could well have been made for a less discerning, primarily male, audience that may never have heard or read about Grand Guignol, but simply desires the series of visceral thrills along with a bottle or ten of beer.
Posted by Peter Nellhaus at April 7, 2017 09:06 AM