Simon Alderwick watches and shares his thoughts on the gruesome pick and mix of horror movies available on Shudder and beyond. This week he looks at Street Trash, Beyond The Gates, Blood Quantum and Wake Wood.
Sometimes you’re just not in the right mood to sit down and watch a film. Street Trash (1987) sounded awesome. Foolhardy bums get hold of cursed booze that will literally melt your face off. The lead bum bears a remarkable likeness to It’s Always Sunny… priest/hobo Rickety Cricket. The film oozes lowbrow insanity. But I couldn’t get into it. I might watch it again some day, but for now this movie’s staying on the shelf.
A nostalgic throwback to the time when VHS reigned supreme, Beyond The Gates (2016) is one cool cat, not least because it’s inspired by 80s video board games and has an opening theme tune that sounds like it came straight out of a Sega Mega Drive game.
This movie is what you’d get if you chucked Jumanji, Stranger Things and It’s Always Eerie in Indiana into a Slush Puppie machine. In other words it kicks ass!
Blood Quantum (2019) is a grown up zombie movie about indigenous inhabitants of the Red Crow facing off against a plague of the white undead.
You can watch this masterpiece for the intelligent commentary on race, occupation, family ties and culture or you can just sit on the edge of your seat and take in the unrelenting action, gore and drama; it’s up to you. Either way this is an awesome pre and post apocalyptic tale that should be massive, even for those who generally don’t lose their minds over the zombie genre.
According to one review on Rotten Tomatoes, “low expectations are the key to enjoying Wake Wood” (2011). I wouldn’t be where I am today without low expectations, so I dived straight into this Northern Ireland set Hammer Horror film almost with Blood Quantum’s end credits still rolling. What the reviews didn’t prepare me for was how grim and gruesome this movie would be.
The premise? Just your standard grieving parents offered a chance to bring their daughter back from the dead after their daughter suffers brutal mauling from a vicious dog. Not the nicest way to start a movie but that’s what happens when you pick horror over Disney, I guess. If you have a stomach that can handle bucket loads of gore and you can get into what is a pretty absurd premise, this is a clever if unsettling film in the vein of The Wicker Man (without the festivities) or Pet Sematary. I found the film well paced and it really comes into its own in the final half hour or so – the ending was superb.
Simon Alderwick is a poet and songwriter from the UK. His work is featured or forthcoming in Whatever Keeps The Light On, Re-side and the Squiffy Gnu anthology, among others. Follow him on Twitter @SimonAlderwick.