June 8, 2015

Filthy Movie Review Double Bill - 'Der Samurai and The House of 100 Eyes'

In this reviewer’s humble opinion, Artsploitation Films was one of the most exciting film distribution companies about. They released films such as Wither, Toad Road, Hidden in the Woods and Memories of the Dead, to name but a few. These were films from all over the globe that took the viewer on wild, imaginative and quite often very gruesome journeys. In a genre where re-issues and re-releases reign supreme, here was a company that was willing to take risks with their releases. Then, without warning, all went quiet. Had Artsploitation ceased to exist? Maybe the fact that their catalogue was only available on DVD, rather than giving us a Blu-ray option had something to do with it? Who knows? What I do know, is that they are back, stronger than ever, with a schedule that should make the more adventurous film fan salivate, and in this review I take a look at the first two titles!

Der Samurai (2014)

Release date: June 9th

Format: Blu-ray and DVD

Review by Jude Felton

The first release, from the newly revitalized Artsploitation, is the German headfuck, Der Samurai. It’s a film that rests it beautifully chaotic head on several pillows. Part horror, part thriller, part twisted, surreal and nightmarish fairytale, Der Samurai takes you on a weird and wonderful ride. This is a film that’ll lead you in one direction, before veering wildly to disorientate and enchant the viewer with its maddening glory.

The story follows a small town police officer who has taken it upon himself to protect his town against the unwanted presence of a suspected wolf. However, he gets sidetracked when a strange package arrives, followed thereafter by a meeting with a very strange individual.
Part of the wonder of this movie was the unknown; the not knowing where the plot was going to take me. I try to avoid reading too much in advance, with titles such as this, and it certainly paid dividends. It is due to this fact that I am being deliberately vague in terms of giving you much in the terms of plot. With that in mind, by the time the credits had started to roll, I had a huge grin on my face, as Der Samurai was an absolute joy to watch.

Der Samurai also marked Artsploitation’s first Blu-ray release, and what a beaut it is. Aside from their usually terrific packaging, the film itself really lends itself to the Hi-Def viewing experience and really popped off the screen.

First release, since returning to the fold, and I can safely say that Artsploitation knocked it out of the park by picking this film to release. Writer/Director Till Kleinert is definitely a name you will want to keep your eye open for in the future, as he has delivered an absolutely cracking movie.
Recommended? You bet your sweet German-talking ass it is!


The House of 100 Eyes (2013)

Release date: June 16th

Format: DVD

Review by Jude Felton

The second new release from Artsploitation Films is the 2013 American flick, The House of 100 Eyes, and it’s quite the deliciously sick little puppy. Released on DVD (no Blu I’m afraid), the film follows a quirky couple who have a nice sideline in kidnapping, torture and murder. Sound charming, don’t they? Well, they are really. Sort of, in a pitch black comedic kind of way…

Now, you might be forgiven, from reading the above paragraph that we are heading into torture porn territory. We’re not. The House of 100 Eyes (the title refers to the multitude of cameras the couple have set up and use to film their exploits) is as much a comedy, as it is a horror film. Granted, the humor is of the blackest, black variety, but it is comedy nonetheless. It’s this humor, balanced again the gruesome and, sometimes quite uncomfortable to watch, on screen mayhem that made this film so much fun to watch. Maybe fun is not the right word, or then maybe it is… Hmm, now you have me thinking too much!

The directing team of Jay Lee and Jim Roof (Roof also wrote the film) really has delivered a thoroughly entertaining slice of sick entertainment that will hold your attention from start to finish. Roof also stars as Ed, who is one half of the aforementioned couple and an absolute looney tune, and gives a terrific performance. He also reminded me of a young Kevin Pollok, but that’s neither here nor there.

Funny, sick and awash with plenty of blood, The House of 100 Eyes is definitely recommended viewing.


Both Der Samurai and The House of 100 Eyes, along with other titles, can be ordered directly from Artsploitation Films. Get in quick, as they are having a promotion running throughout June for their back catalogue!

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