Artsploitation Films offer a unique, exciting, controversial and often-times challenging selection of art and genre movies from around the globe. What are the Top 10 Artsploitation Films? Here is our list. You can decide if you agree with the selections.
01- Vampyres (2015)
In 1974, an English horror film titled VAMPYRES, written and directed by José Ramón Larraz Gil , premiered to an unsuspecting world. Soon, it became a cult horror sensation because of its sensuality, its gruesomeness and its twisted atmosphere. This new version keeps those graphic elements and the twisted atmosphere, but includes more action, more horror and more gore in telling the story of two vamps that “live” in a dark manor where they bring men with the promise of sex orgies that ultimately become blood orgies.
02- Horsehead (2014)
Haunting and horrific, surreal and shocking, HORSEHEAD is a new horror-fantasy that pays tribute to the classic European shockers of Dario Argento and Mario Bava while also remaining a unique film with its own vision, delivering unforgettable images that both disturb and enchant. Director Romain Basset’s tale follows beautiful young Jessica (Lilly-Fleur Pointeaux) as she returns to her family’s countryside estate for her grandmother’s funeral. Haunted by recurring nightmares of a horse-headed monster, Jessica attempts to put her studies of “lucid dreaming” to good use, as she semi-consciously navigates through this dream landscape, trying to discover the secrets behind this sinister apparition.
03- Der Samurai (2014)
DER SAMURAI is a German mind-bender about shape-shifting cross-dressers, bloody decapitations, repressed sexual desires and small town life. But while director Till Kleinert’s film is a surreal mix of dark comedy and eerie creep-out that recalls David Lynch. Jakob is a policeman in a village deep in the woods, where little happens until the arrival of a mysterious wolf that is causing havoc. Working the night shift, Jakob is tracking the wolf…only to discover that the lupine lurker is actually a man clad only in lipstick and a ladies’ slip, and toting a samurai sword that he uses to lop off the heads of the townspeople, including Jakob’s tormentors. Jakob and the transvestite samurai seem to share a bond, and as the night gets darker, events get even weirder. Completely bizarre yet wildly entertaining, DER SAMURAI is a horror must-see for the adventurous!
04- Killbillies (2015)
Proving that the American South does not hold a monopoly on sexually depraved, bloodthirsty hillbillies, Killbilllies (aka: Idyll) depicts a harrowing tale of abduction, violence and hoped-for survival. A group of fashionistas from the city, including models Zina and Mia, make-up artist Dragica and photographer Blitcz, begin to shoot on an idyllic countryside hilltop. But soon, two physically deformed psychopathic countrymen approach them and quickly attack. After the terrified group finds themselves chained in a basement and awaiting their gruesome fate, they decide they must fight no matter what the odds. A wild, bloody, taut clash ensues between urban and rural, women and men, between savages and civilized man. A fresh, sadistic take on such classics as The Hills Have Eyes and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
05 – Bloody Knuckles (2014)
Travis, an underground comic book artist with a penchant for obscene caricatures, upsets a Chinatown crime lord who responds by cutting off the young man’s hand. As a despondent, drunken Travis wallows in post-severed hand depression, his decomposing limb returns to life and is determined to exact revenge. Soon, Travis and his mischievous appendage join forces with a masked S&M superhero to rid the city of evil. Filmmaker Matt O.’s debut feature strips Canada of its “land of nice” image with this deliriously offensive, gory, and happily un-PC horror-comedy!
06- Wither (Vittra) (2012)
This Swedish homage to Sam Raimi’s original Evil Dead (1982) is a bloody, scary tale of demonic possession. A group of naive young people find their carefree weekend in an isolated country house unhinged when one of them accidentally unleashes a mysterious and murderous creature trapped in the basement. As the demon begins to attack the couples, the blood-dredged body count mounts and with it, more creatures out for a taste of human flesh, freshly killed. The dazed young men and women soon mount their own desperate counter-attack, an attack that includes decapitations, dismemberment, spurting blood, flailing axes and the kind of gore one does associate with Swedish cinema!
07- Der Bunker (2015)
With his surrealistic and dark, yet strangely heart-warming approach towards an unusual family’s world, DER BUNKER’s director Nikias Chryssos may well be the nephew of John Waters and the illegitimate son of David Lynch and Luis Buñuel. A student rents a windowless room in a bunker home nestled deep within a forest. Here, instead of finding tranquility for his studies, the young man becomes increasingly involved in the dramas of his landlord’s family. They include the stern father, his wife (whose swollen leg almost takes a life of its own) and their precocious 8-year-old son Klaus who, despite being German and “learning-challenged,” is being home groomed to become the President of the United States. Initially friendly and welcoming, the situation becomes increasingly bizarre. A funny, visually arresting and a bit unsettling modern fairy tale.
08- Deadly Virtues (2014)
Over the course of a weekend, a hypnotic home invader explores and exploits the relationship of a suburban, middle class couple. His brutal torture of the husband and seduction of the wife uncovers an uncomfortable truth about their marriage and ultimately acts as a catalyst for extreme liberation.
09- The Devil Lives Here (2015)
Three teenagers go on a trip to visit their friend Apolo at his family’s farm for a weekend of fun. At the same time, Sebastião and his younger brother Luciano are getting ready to perform the spiritual ritual their family has been tasked with every nine months, for centuries.On the night the two groups meet, they find out that what they thought were scary tales becomes more than real. It is now up to them to prevent evil to be born and take over the world.
10- Female Werewolf (2015)
From indie filmmaker Chris Alexander (BLOOD FOR IRINA, QUEEN OF BLOOD) comes FEMALE WEREWOLF, an intimate psychodrama about one women’s search for sex and sanity. “She” (Carrie Gemmell) is a girl in the grip of a waking fever dream, slave to erotic, bloody fantasies that are slowly seeping into the grind of her sterile reality. As her sexual tensions and anxieties spiral, she slips into madness, believing that she might be turning into a monster. Featuring a mesmerizing, near mute performance by Gemmell, FEMALE WEREWOLF is a surreal experimental horror film, shot entirely by Alexander on a series of iPhones and featuring a moody score by Alexander and The Gotham City Drug Store.
Unlike most film distribution companies, the name of our company describes the kinds of films we are looking to distribute. Artsploitation connotes – to me anyway – that perfect blend of genre/exploitation films with traditional art cinema. We are far from a horror film distributor – that’s too easy! We look for odd, challenging, fun, even difficult films – some are more art than genre and others are just genre fun but they all share in common an approach to filmmaking that we love.
So be they international thrillers, blood-spurting horror, art house dramas or just plain weird and wonderful, they are all part of the Artsploitation Films family. You may not like all of what we present but we hope you’ll be at least be intrigued into watching one of our offerings.– Raymond Murray, President