So, as most of you know, I have spent the last week or two watching and reviewing Unearthed Films’ American Guinea Pig series. If you know me personally there is a good chance that you’ve noticed that I have been talking about the series pretty much nonstop. What I have noticed though, is the feeling that I have to qualify my enjoyment of the series by kind of shrugging and saying, “well, it’s not for everybody,” but isn’t that the truth with horror in general? Sure these films are full of depravity and realistic gore but do they really deserve to be such a niche thing?
I don’t think they do. Films like the American Guinea Pig series and extreme horror in general are the natural progression of the horror genre. We praise movies that are dark. We cream our jeans over creative kills. Tongues fucking wag over well done practical effects. Yet, you have films that embody those things and people not only write them off but they’ll get on a high horse about not watching “those kinds of films”. From supernatural threats to horrors that could be happening right next door, you can get it all with extreme horror.
You know what else has a ton of artistic talent poured into it and is shunned by the majority of people? Metal. Stick with me here, I’m getting to a point. You see, Unearthed Films is (as far as I can tell) based in the Tampa Bay area. That same area spawned some of the biggest names in extreme metal. Morbid Angel
, Atheist, and Kamelot
all came out of that area. There must be something in the water there that produces monstrous talent that is overlooked and underrated. It was with this connection in mind that I started to compare the American Guinea Pig
films to different subgenres of metal.
Let’s start with Bloodshock
. This film is kind of like progressive death metal. Think older Opeth
, and Edge of Sanity
. There’s some level of brutality lurking under the surface but it is covered in a deep confusing veil of artsy dark atmospheric goodness. When that brutality does show itself raw and unmasked before us, it is glorious and surprising. It may not be as in your face as something like Cannibal Corpse but if you’ve got some patience and you’re willing to open your mind a little bit you’re sure to enjoy it, even if you don’t fully “get it” the first time through.
Next up is Sacrifice
. This film is pure melodic blackened death metal. The driving narrative, occult themes and outright brutality injected with a dark romanticism and crafted with perfection down to the last frame truly embody the spirit of the genre. You can find this in bands like Naglfar
, and God Dethroned
. You can almost allow yourself to be pulled into the majesty and beauty of it for a few seconds before the utter violence smashes you like a screwdriver to the urethra and grabs on tight like the inner walls of an ancient sex goddess but in a good way.
Bouquet of Guts and Gore
could easily be compared to pure brutal death metal. All the pretense is stripped away and what you are left with is a full frontal assault of blood, guts, and depravity. I’m talking about the kind of metal where you pray to the dead gods for a breakdown so you have a chance to take a breath. From start to finish it is a relentless assault on the senses. Bands like Cannibal Corpse
, Cerebral Bore
, and Perdition Temple
all fit the bill here. This is the kind of art that allows you to step outside yourself and let the dark shit inside you have some wiggle room. Honestly, you either dig it or you don’t there’s not much of an in-between.
The Song of Solomon
is a little harder to nail down. Depravity, dead priests, demonic possession, and an absolute bloodbath coupled with a feeling that if more people gave it a fair shot they would really dig it makes me think of symphonic black metal. This beautiful backdrop with a portrait of blasphemous violence painted on it is something I feel like more people should really check out even if it does laugh in the face your gods. Bands that come to mind are Dimmu Borgir
, Septic Flesh
, and Moonspell
to name a few. Sure, there are plenty of elitists who will dismiss it for one reason or another, but you can’t take away from the fact that it is a well put together piece of art. Why was it put together? For the glory of Satan, of course!
That’s it man. I said all this to say that these movies are, without a doubt, metal as fuck. I mean, you stand to lose nothing by checking out some of the links I’ve provided and then going and checking out the films. Or you could always just go back to your teeny-bopper jumpscare bullshit and listening to radio-friendly bro-core. At the end of the day, man, it’s up to you.