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Fowler’s Flix 05.31.19: Artsploitation Returns!

Evil stalks the Argentinian night in Artsploitation's release "Terror 5."
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One of my favorite home video labels, Artsploitation, sent me a screener package full of more horror, sci-fi and other genre flicks from around the world to review and, after a couple of weeks of absolutely staid fantastical fare, it wasn’t a moment too soon.

Straight out of Argentina is the horrific anthology Terror 5, a mostly meandering yet still highly impressive picture that mixes atypical terror-tropes with timely political unrest as teens torture their teachers and a snuff film goes a little too live as the protest against crooked politicians turns into a John Carpenter film. Like many of these foreign horror flicks, sometimes the humor is a little lost in translation, but the devastating fright is always present.

With a stylish Terry Gilliam swagger, from Poland here is The Man with the Magic Box, a wholly surreal time-jump (time-scare?) that stars Piotr Polak as an amnesiac who finds himself in totalitarian Warsaw, 2030. A man out of time, literally, in his decrepit apartment he finds an old radio with strange directions that mesmerizes him and, eventually, the co-worker with a classist crush on him; the government, for some reason, has other plans for him and doesn’t want him to remember anything. Again.

An American picture hailing from Denver, of all places—an oddity for Artsploitation—Rondo features a dishonorably discharged veteran, wandering through what’s left of his life at his sister’s house; he is sent to see a psychiatrist that gives him the hook-up to a fetish club. When he gets there, however, it turns out to be a criminal network of murder and mayhem that takes in his remaining family with it. With a cheap glean to it that definitely is stylish, sadly, even at 88 minutes the film does overstay its welcome.

Two more Artsploitation titles definitely worth checking out include the Greek film Do It Yourself, where a small-time criminal goes on the run from other small-time crooks in a labyrinthine porn studio and, from Norway, the Nazi-thriller The House, in we find a few of Hitler’s troops trapped in a house of true evil, with hopefully everyone receiving their rightful place in Hell.

Next week: Music legends, for the most part.

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About the Author

Louis Fowler

Güicho. Gadfly. Chicano. Choctaw. Cristero. Freelancer. Leftist. Activist. Vilified. PKD....

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