This review is inspired by my friend Rhys, who took great delight in telling me of this movie’s existence, while seeming to have no interest in actually watching it. Well, readers, you know if there’s a weird corner of the cinematic world, we’ll have a shuftie at it, and this seemed like a particularly weird corner.
Andreas Schnaas was 21 when he made this; a lover of genre cinema from a young age, his New Zealand pen-pal told him “all you’re making is violent shit” (in relation to an early movie experiment, one presumes) and the name stuck. In what’s a hefty coincidence, one of his later movies was released under the alternate title “Zombi 7”, so we’d have probably encountered him in a few weeks anyway. “Violent Shit” was filmed over four “very long” weekends by Schnaas and his friends, and is sort of fascinating. I think the plot recap could go on for thousands of words, so we’d best get going!
A young kid is playing in the woods, and his Mum is upset at how late he’s out, so he kills her with a meat cleaver. 20 years later, he’s in a police van being taken back to a lunatic asylum from…somewhere, and when the driver stops for a pee, he just escapes through the unlocked door. Come on, you coppers! Security is important! Anyway, our hero, listed in the credits as “K The Butcher Shitter”, goes into the woods, and walks a bit then kills someone, walks a bit then kills someone, repeat for a shade under 70 minutes. The other three minutes is the plot, and involves a flashback where a demon who claims to be his father tells him to kill his mother; a scene where he hacks open then climbs inside Jesus, stuck on a cross in the middle of the woods; and then the end, where he collapses, claws his own skin off (which has been somewhat inexplicably decaying over the course of proceedings), then rips open his own stomach and produces a gore drenched baby. The end!
Want me to recap it again, only a bit slower? Yes, it’s safe to say Schnaas’s interests were not narrative, and it’s pretty impressive what he manages to achieve with a micro-micro-budget – gore, gore, gore, and a bit more gore. His extremely fake-looking meat cleaver (which looks like a piece of sheet metal stuck to a wooden handle) is buried in heads, arms, chests and groins – memorably, he hacks off a penis and eats it, then a little later chops open a woman starting at the vagina. We see everything! I mean, you’re unlikely to mistake the head he chainsaws into pieces for a real head, but just the attempt at doing this extremely messy gore is to be commended. Should extreme gore be your cup of tea, I suppose.
A lot of your enjoyment of this will depend on your willingness to watch a non-actor with a bit of plastic inexpertly glued to his face shuffle round the woods, as that’s a good half of the running time. His victims are introduced quickly – it’s a woman walking through the woods because the guy giving her a lift was a creep! It’s a couple of workmen who complain constantly about everything! It’s…some guy! – and then dispatched relatively slowly, with most of the time being taken up with him trying to saw through a neck or a wrist with his cleaver. Oh, and blood. Everything is drenched in the stuff, to the point I imagine Schnaas and his friends must have been sick of the sight and smell of whatever blood substitute they used.
Don’t bother questioning it – why is it so easy for him to escape, and why is no-one bothered about finding him? – because that’s not what the movie is about. It’s a gorehound, making the sort of movie he wanted to see, and although you might be happy that not too many movies are made where a woman gets hacked apart starting in “that” area, it’s nice to know that someone exists for whom the boundaries of good taste are but a distant memory. And it’s also good to know he’s just like every other low-budget filmmaker, chasing that dollar – as of this review, there are five “Violent Shit” instalments, which I’m betting have backstory and real characters in them. Boring! There’s something to be said for the purity of a movie like this. And honestly, I’m not sure I care about watching the rest of them to be proved wrong or right.
A fun thing to look out for during proceedings is hashtags. The subtitles use a # when there’s two people’s dialogue on screen at once, so you can relieve the boredom during one of the very few scenes with talking by pretending they’re talking on Twitter, and often saying #What? Okay, it’s not the funnest thing you’ll do that day, but we low budget movie fans must occasionally make our own entertainment.
It’s as much fun as a very well-done home movie can be, I suppose. There’s a couple of scenes where the cameraman is chasing K The Butcher Shitter through the woods, and the swinging of the cheap camcorder could induce vertigo…although, it’s not something you see in movies every day, if you want new experiences. The sound was recorded afterwards in a tin bathtub, too, but it’d be even weirder if the sound was recorded well. It all fits. Every now and again, to either break up the monotony or because the effect they filmed was too rubbish even for them, they’ll pixelate the image pretty heavily too, or slow it down. It’s an ugly film to look at, which I guess means mission accomplished.
It’s sort of weird judging it in 2016, when everyone and their dog has released an ultra-low-budget movie about a psychopath chasing women through the forest. This is apparently the first straight-to-video release in German history, and was a huge success, giving Schnaas a career he’s still involved in today. If he’d made it last year? Who knows. But as a pioneer as well as a man who did some spectacularly gross things with no money, he should be commended, and provided you’ve got a strong stomach and no inner ear problems, this is worth 72 minutes of your time (okay, maybe like 60, watch it at 1.25x speed because it doesn’t exactly go at a ripping pace).
Rating: thumbs in the middle