Director: El Gore
Writer: El Gore
Year: Various – Released 2016
Starring: El Gore, Isabelle Fitzgerald

A collection of nine ‘snuff’ tapes by El Gore gathered together into one package covering abortion, disembowelment, genital mutilation, necrophilia and a lot more.

If the title doesn’t give the game away from the moment you insert the disc into your player you are assaulted by brutal, infectious goregrind which perfectly sets the tone for what is to come over the next hour or so.

What we have is essentially a compilation of ‘tapes’ – which look to have been given the ‘VHS’ look treatment for added authenticity, including the sound of the tapes being inserted from the menus which is a fantastic touch adding gravitas to the fact that this is in fact a thought out and professional production despite its intentional lo-fi appearance. So in the spirit of the production the only way to review this is to systematically go through the contents, almost like a police investigator would upon discovery of this evidence.

Snuff Tape 0 – ‘Black & Died’ is the shortest of all the tapes but kicks things off in a grimy and almost arthouse manner thanks to the colour palette and disrupted audio soundscape resulting in the viewer being unable to distinguish if they are watching one mans decent into perversion or transgressive art that borders trash. Four minutes later and I am onto Snuff Tape 1 – ‘Red’ which along with it’s clear VHS style features a pounding soundtrack playing over shots of maggots feasting on what looks like a bird carcass before giving way to something that Fred Vogel would be proud of.┬áBefore I knew it Snuff Tape 2 – ‘Red & Yellow’ is ready to go, and bizarrely I was unable to look away from the screen. There isn’t too much to say on this tape except that it certainly delivers for the gore hounds in terms of brutality as El Gore takes things a step further as the footage ends with a random act of humiliation and disdain for the victim.

Snuff Tape 3 – ‘Dead, Red & Brown’ at 24 minutes is the longest segment and also one of the most brutal. Again El Gore ramps things up as he seemingly revels in the violence and depravity on show as the tape somehow becomes more and more extreme as the time goes on. We witness, almost as accomplices, as a corpse is mutilated, defiled and desecrated….not to mention a couple of scenes that will have everyman crossing his legs. This segment also forms the basis for the music videos from Anal Fistfuckers and Kadaverficker, but one criticism that I have surrounding the audio is, due to the length of the segment compared to the songs it takes away from any feeling of authenticity and a more restrained soundtrack, as employed on some other segments, would have sufficed.

Snuff Tape 4 – ‘Dead Baby Fast Food’ is perhaps the only real let down for me, although admittedly the gore brigade may still get enough out of this segment to make it worth their while. However, the use of a clearly fake, standard plastic baby doll as opposed to something more silicone based combined with creative shot angles killed the segment for me. The result was that the foundation of the segments concept was inadvertently rooted in slapstick as opposed to controversy and despite plenty of blood and gore it could not recover to deliver the required impact and perhaps this was one idea that should have been left on the drawing board rather than compromising with a restricted budget and SFX. Snuff Tape 5 – ‘Final Orgasm Extreme Suicide’ brings things back up to speed thankfully, and if you a man, like some scenes in tape 3, you might want to spend some time looking away from the screen. Like all the others this one is pretty bloody, by this point I think that is a given for the entirety of the collection, as it focuses on a guy who decides to enact his fantasy of extreme suicide as he indulges in acts of genital mutilation and self-disembowelment.

Snuff Tape 6 – ‘Organ Trade Autopsy’ is pretty self explanatory, although not the shortest segment it did seem to fly by pretty quickly but I did also find it one of the least engaging of the tapes despite benefitting from strong Fx which looks like El Gore and Co. raided a local butchers shop to achieve the desired effect.

Moving on to Snuff Tape 7 – ‘Gore Abortion’, this is the second longest tape at twenty minutes and features the stunning Isabelle Fitzgerald and finally some boob! Of course I am being facetious but with a couple of tapes involving a stunt cock its about time El Gore engaged in some equal opportunities flesh. The loose narrative centres around someone who likes to kidnap pregnant women and get’s off on the murder of two people with one act. While Isabelle hardly looks pregnant, lets pretend it’s very early or she just doesn’t show it and move on, this tape is perhaps one of, if not the, most interesting because it allows for that interactive dynamic. Additionally there is no groovy, heavy chugging goregrind soundtrack to this tape. Replaced, instead with ambient sound and suffering and this makes for a much more genuine and oppressive feeling resulting in a tape that is both brutal and grim, with the tone perfectly matching the reprehensible act of the antagonist.

Finally we reach the Lost Snuff Tape – ‘Dead Body Rape’ and once again, you don’t need to be a genius to work out what this is about. Like the last tape this is pretty grim, but steeped even more in authenticity due to the camera set up, the lack of clear sound and its brief nature. It delivers exactly what it promises.

Disturbing, violent, pointless yet engrossing perfectly describes this release. As the tapes go on, any initial thoughts of artistic flourishes or subliminal subversion are eradicated and you learn that there is no political or social commentary behind this, there is no semblance of a plot just a very loose and direct narrative described by text at the start of the ‘tape’. In these ‘tapes’ there is only violence and in some cases humiliation making this perfect for gorehounds who want only unadulterated gore and perversion…and it is surprisingly captivating!

This release is also highly recommended for fans of the AUGUST UNDERGROUND movies, NECROPHAGIA music videos (think Nightmare Scenarios release) and goregrind musick. Oh and one final thing Mr El Gore, change up the bathroom every once in a while.

Version Reviewed:
I reviewed a promo copy from Black Lava Entertainment. The release features a whole host of extras including a music video from Anal Fistfuckers and one from Kadaverficker, trailers for most of the tapes, a picture gallery and two brief but worthwhile behind the scenes clips.

Additionally you will get a soundtrack CD featuring 21 gore-oovy tracks from Anal Fistfuckers, Kadaverficker as well as Deathtopia and Whiskey Suicide. A fantastic little bonus especially for fans of the genre and worthy of a review in itself.

The double digipack slipcase release is available from Black Lava and can be found here. A limited edition leatherbook version was also released and can be found here.



Alternative Titles: Lock the Doors: Truegerische Sicherheit
Director: Mr Zito
Writer: Mr Zito
Year: 2016
Starring: Sabine Wedde, Janette Pissang, Marcel Richter, Dirk Th├╝mer

Student Anna, desperate for money, agrees to a rural babysitting job for an indeterminate period of time. Once there she begins to see a strange figure nearby, inviting her friend over to keep her sane the two soon realise that they might not be alone.

LOCK THE DOORS kicks off not only with a functional introduction to our lead Anna, on her way to a babysitting gig, and her best friend Nina but also with the news that a cannibal child killer had just got out of prison. Now you don’t have to be genius to work out where this is heading.

As the story continues writer/director Mr Zito wastes no time in moving past the niceties and LOCK THE DOORS soon turns into what appears to be your standard stalk-and-slash film with Zito teasing us with POV shots and fleeting glimpses of our villain, although moments of doubt begin to creep in, and we start to question is he merely a figment of poor Anna’s imagination.

There is no time to dwell on that however as a couple more characters are thrown into the mix either for plot development or simply as a body bags. Although it is pretty clear it is the latter that is going to define this film as when the gore finally starts Zito revels in it and milks these moments for all they are worth.

Surprisingly however, especially when compared to the majority of it’s genre peers, LOCK THE DOORS did make a genuine attempt to include some character depth for both our main protagonist and antagonist. This works both as an emotional investment for the viewer and as a device to help drive the story forwards. Not to mention helping to add a level of maturity and depth to a film in a genre that is so often found lacking in this respect.

If this is all sounding a bit too sensitive do not worry, as once these moments have served their purpose it is back to the real bread and butter of a slasher – tense scenes and gory violence which, in all but one shot benefits from some fantastic Fx. I say all but one shot because during one killing there is a terrible, cheap close up shot choice but thankfully that is almost immediately followed by a terrific vibrant shot which would have been enough just on its own.

The final act however is where LOCK THE DOORS really excels as Zito brings everything together with a strong and cohesive link. It is in his method of doing this that lifts the film as it transposes almost into a true-crime story and is both captivating and fascinating, while not being beyond the realms of possibility. This method of story telling really drew me in enhancing a tense and brutal final act.

Overall thanks to a terrific soundtrack and competent acting LOCK THE DOORS surpasses its low budget and lack of resources, ending up much more than the sum of its parts and any slasher that makes you scream at the characters for their decisions is a success in my eyes.

Although one area in which the film does falter is the look of the killer – he is simply not iconic or cool enough to become the next big thing, coming across more as a second rate Harry Warden (MY BLOODY VALENTINE) but the look is practical and does play into the home invasion genre as opposed to the more fantastical such as Jason or Cropsy.

So when the only issue you have with a slasher script is that the baby sitter took an hour of run time before she even checked there was a baby she was meant to be looking after then you know you are onto a winner. Thanks to some genuinely tense moments, over the top German gore and, when you think of it, an extremely brutal motive of the killer LOCK THE DOORS is one to recommend any fan of gory slasher flicks.

Perfectly combining the North American 80s home invasion slasher along with the more extreme gore that Germany is famed for, LOCK THE DOORS is almost guaranteed to please fans of these genres. Although conceptually at first there appear a few similarities to Fred Walton’s WHEN A STRANGER CALLS, this would be doing writer-director Mr Zito a significant disservice as LOCK THE DOORS quickly develops its own identity. Although by no means a modern classic it will entertain, revile and have you shouting at the screen and spilling your beer.

Version Reviewed:

We reviewed the 2016 DVD release from Rotten Cat Media and Dark Corridor Entertainment that is available from Black Lava which comes with a terrific soundtrack CD alongside the DVD.

Both picture and sound quality are decent enough although there are a couple of moments nearer the end in which German subs become hardcoded for only a few minutes. The film has German audio and English subtitles.

On the actual disc itself the only extras are the terrific trailer (English subbed) and an outtakes reel which is German language only.