It Came from the Camcorder: Violent Shit

Violent Shit VHS boxThere have been some movies featured on Missile Test that have not lived up to their title, or that have had titles that are outright deceptive (I’m looking at you, Chain Gang Women). No worries with Violent Shit. The title promises violent shit, and that’s just what viewers will get. In fact, the title undersells what’s in the movie.

Hailing from West Germany, Violent Shit sprang forth from the mind of writer, director, producer, and special effects technician Andreas Schnaas. In his early twenties at the time of filming, Schnaas roped in his friends for a few weekends of shooting in and around Hamburg in 1989. The result is a bloody disgusting SOV horror flick that never would have made it past the traditional censors. The gore in this movie is not that realistic, but it contains imagery that’s nasty enough to make one’s stomach turn. For instance, one of the first victims in this film has his penis cut off in graphic fashion, and I rank that as the third-most disturbing moment in the film. One of the characters had a death that is right up there with the real-life killing of Mary Jane Kelly at the hands of Jack the Ripper. (Read the description of her post-mortem to get an idea of how this scene plays out.)

The focus of the film is the violence, full stop. There is little to no story. The killer in the film is billed as K. The Butcher Shitter (Karl Inger). After being scolded by his mother for returning home late as a child, he kills her with a cleaver, and is sent to an asylum. Now, twenty years later, all grown up, deformed and gimpy, he escapes while being transported somewhere and roams the woods killing anyone he comes across. That’s it. That’s the plot. K. just kills and kills and kills. He chops people up with an even bigger cleaver than the one used in the movie’s intro, he claws open innards and pulls out guts and viscera, he decapitates, emasculates, de-feminates, cannibalizes, and does everything else to the human body but have sex with it…thank god.

As noted above, the gore is an approximation of real bodily harm, but it’s so extensive and graphic that it doesn’t matter that Schnaas used sausage links for small intestines, or blood the color of a red barn. It’s nasty, nasty, nasty.

The ability to shock is all this movie has to offer. Really, that’s all it was intended to offer. The shot-on-video format afforded Schnaas with a medium where he could really let go. Compare this with something from the Polonia Brothers, who have become my favorite SOV horror filmmakers. Their films feature some disturbing imagery as well, but used in support of their stories, as thin as those stories could be. Their gore is almost sympathetic, as they have enough character development to make viewers care what happens to their onscreen victims. Schnaas, on the other hand, didn’t introduce a single character in this film more than a minute or two before they met their ends.

However, I do consider Violent Shit to be something of a seminal SOV horror flick. If ever there was a movie that demonstrates what can be done without censors looking over one’s shoulder, this is it. It does beg the question, though, should anyone make a movie like this? I say, yes, for a couple of reasons. First, it’s not real. I have yet to see a horror flick that has made me feel the same kind of revulsion and sickness as real gore, no matter how explicit. When it gets down to it, this is all just pretend. And second, no one is being forced to watch movies that make them uncomfortable. The ideal of free expression extends to filmmakers of all stripes, whether they spend their careers making rom-coms, or ripping open co-eds in the woods. How stale life would be if there were not films that crossed one’s personal boundaries of taste. This isn’t even close to the most disgusting horror movie ever made, anyway.

Violent Shit is the whiskey to Friday the 13th’s light beer. It’s a 75-minute long distilled shot of gore. The production quality is as low as I have ever seen, which doesn’t help watchability any, but, I’m also glad this wasn’t made in HD. Violent Shit is a tough one, so, despite its…qualities…it falls way down the Index, displacing Sci-Fighter at #383. Keep the drapes closed, and don’t let the kids watch it.

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