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Fantasia 2020: ‘Yummy’ is a Tasty Treat for Gore Hounds

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Yummy

Zombie movies are — by now — a tired dime a dozen, so it can be extremely difficult to make one that stands out as worth watching. You’ve got to bring something new to the table. Belgian bloodfest Yummy puts the zombie subgenre under the knife; there’s a fresh, attractive face, but ultimately it’s the same (undead) body. 

In the film, a young couple travels to a shady Eastern European hospital for plastic surgery. The young woman, Alison (Maaike Neuville) wants a breast reduction. Her mother Sylvia (Annick Christiaens) comes along for yet another face-lift. Wandering through an abandoned ward, the boyfriend, Michael (Bart Hollanders), stumbles upon a young woman, gagged and strapped to an operating table; she’s the result of experimental rejuvenation treatment. He frees her but doesn’t realize she’s patient zero and he just caused the outbreak of a violent, deadly virus.

Yummy is director Lars Damoiseaux’s feature film debut, co-written with Eveline Hagenbeek. The film isn’t trying to reinvent the shambling, groaning, zombie film wheel — all the familiar tropes are there — but the hospital setting gives a lot of gruesome flexibility.

The gore is where Yummy really comes out to play, thanks to the amazing work of makeup effects artists Daphnée Beaulieux and Erwan Simon (billed as “Heroes of the Movie” in the end credits). Damoiseaux wears his influences on his sleeve with his heavy use of splattergore that takes each surgery-gone-wrong opportunity (one scene hits reverse on a liposuction, another poor woman was abandoned in the midst of a chemical peel… it’s gross, it’s great). 

The script is full of characters that you’re quite ready to see devoured; they’re shallow, vain, and deeply unlikable. It jabs at certain personalities with a dark, unapologetic sense of humour. Only our leading lady is even remotely tolerable. Alison is strong-willed and capable, but her beau is mostly useless.

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As a clever detail, Michael has hemophobia, the last thing you want in a zombie film. When the shit goes down, you better be ready — and he is definitely not. But it’s not given the full exploration that you’d expect, which is actually quite disappointing. It’s a great set up and leaves the door open for some quality character development, but it’s dropped pretty quickly. 

Because movies have rules, Yummy does take some effort to explain the origins of its virus by way of a side plot that probably doesn’t need to be as melodramatic as it is. It throws a bit of a wrench into the pacing. That said, this seems to be a staple of just about every zombie film (right up there with the guy who hides his zombie bite from the rest of the group), so it’s not unexpected. 

Taking a step back, the film itself looks fantastic. The shots are clean, the cinematography clicks, and when things start to unravel, the lighting washes the hospital in panicked emergency reds and blues. The effect is arresting. I should also note the opening title sequence, which caught me immediately. It draws you in and setting the tone for a fun, splashy zombie flick. 

Fans of the zombie genre will find a lot to love in Yummy. If traditional gore is what you’re here for, you won’t be disappointed. It’s a loving addition to a roster of zombie films that thrive in viscera, nudity, and pitch-black comedy. It’s a sure crowd-pleaser that would be perfect for a late-night screening with a rowdy audience. 

You can guess most of the beats through the movie (if you’ve ever seen a zombie film at all), but  the ending certainly changes it up, and it’s an enjoyable ride all the same. If you’re tired of zombie films, you can probably shamble past this one. But if you love a good ol’ fashioned bloody mess, Yummy is a film to devour. 

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Yummy is playing as part of Fantasia Fest 2020. You can watch it On Demand here. For more from Fantasia 2020, click to read my review of The Mortuary Collection.

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10 Worst Shark Movies According to Letterboxd 

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Shark movies and summer go hand-in-hand. We’ve had a few this year already. Ouija Shark 2 and The Reef: Stalked are coming out soon and recently Shark Bait was a mediocre surprise. However, there have been some real — depending on your point-of-view — stinkers in the past. At least according to Letterboxd.

Letterboxd is a great tool if you’re planning on avoiding the heat and staying in for some oceanic predator thrillers. Of course, there’s the apex box-office masterpiece Jaws and the modern impressively shot The Shallows. But what about the cinematic flotsam and jetsom, the ones that are so ridiculous their publicity agents probably cringed at the thought of trying to market these Best Value copies?

We have taken the lowest-rated shark films on Letterboxd to compile this list. From that list, we filtered out 10 shark movies from lowest rated to highest.

The “Worst” Shark Movies Is a Matter of Opinion

We discovered that Asylum, a gloriously schlocky studio, isn’t the only company that’s afraid to take the great out of a Great White shark film. That’s not a criticism, it’s a celebration of B-grade CGI moviemaking and great green screen acting. The 10 movies below are ordered from worst to best. We’ve included the trailers just in case you need more convincing to invest your precious summertime viewing schedule into some hilariously diminishing returns.

10. Jurassic Shark

Not only is this a play on words, it’s also a play on the genre. Get ready as group of castaways are terrorized by a shark the size of a 747. Unlike a jumbo jet, this one doesn’t quite stick the landing.

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When an oil company has unwittingly unleashed a prehistoric shark from its icy prison, the Jurassic killer maroons a group of art thieves and a group of beautiful young college students on an abandoned piece of land. The two opposing groups are forced to do what they can to survive or become food for the not-quite-extinct shark!

9. Shark Exorcist (2015)

Fifty years! Yes 50 years later and The Exorcist is still the scariest movie of all time. Sadly the scariest part of this worse shark movie is its tagline: “The only thing more terrifying than a shark in the sea, is a shark in a she!” You’re gonna need a bigger sense of humor.

A demonic nun summons Satan to a small fishing village, where he takes over the bodies of a great white shark and a young woman. A chain reaction of evil grips the tiny community as shredded bodies wash ashore. A Catholic priest arrives, and he must fight both teeth and temptation on land and sea in order to send these man-killers back to Hell before the tide comes in for good!

8. Psycho Shark (2009)

This movie has been dubbed “Jaws in Japan.” But we’ll let you be the judge on whether or not that’s a compliment or an insult. We think the trailer below will give you some push toward your opinion, maybe it’s just us, but it’s kind of intriguing.

Beautiful girls are in danger. At Sunny Beach, a huge shark is waiting for his prey. College students Miki and Mai arrive on a private beach on a tropical island. They can’t find the hotel where they booked their reservations, and have gotten hopelessly lost, until a handsome young man shows up, offering to take them to his lodge. But something is not right about the place. The owner’s fingernails are tainted with blood and Miki feels something sinister lurking nearby.

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7. Avalanche Sharks (2013)

Whereas Shark Exorcist employs the Catholic Church as thier possession catalyst, here it’s a Native American curse. This one’s different though, the curse makes young women don bikinis in freezing weather, and salt water fish to swim in snow banks. I guess, snow is technically water?

It’s Spring Break at a U.S. ski field. The resorts visitors and staff are attacked by snow sharks who were summoned to the mountain by vengeful American Indian sharmans long ago. The staff and some spring breakers battle the cursed ice-sharks to survive in the snow and escape the mountain.

6. Planet of the Sharks (2016)

Waterworld meets Deep Blue Sea in this post-apocalyptic worst shark movie. Although Planet of the Apes had award-winning makeup effects by John Chambers, this movie keeps the creatures mute and in their natural form — if you count CGI as natural.

In the near future, glacial melting has covered ninety-eight percent of Earth’s landmass. Sharks have flourished, and now dominate the planet, operating as one massive school led by a mutated alpha shark.

5. Raiders of the Lost Shark (2014)

Are you noticing a pattern? No, not that there’s a pandemic of bad Jaws rip-offs, but there’s a pandemic of bad movie title parodies. It’s almost like writing titles for adult movies. That’s half right for this worst shark movie — this is softcore. Plenty of audition-grade acting and cheap SFX makes one wonder why this one ranked above Shark Exorcist.

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Four friends set out by boat for a vacation on a private island. But unknown to them, a weaponized shark has escaped from a top-secret military lab, a shark genetically engineered with hate in its blood, and programmed to hunt any human within range. Now, these friends must band together to battle an all-new brand of predator who will stop at nothing to remain at the top of the food chain.

4. Mega Shark vs Crocosaurus (2010)

The filmmakers aren’t only taking artistic liberties with evolution but toying with genetics in this one. Given that a crocodiles are actually a real dinosaurs there was no need to change its name, that is unless you’re going to make it a kaiju. Which is exactly what the makers of this bonkers film did to make it interesting. Add a grown-up Jaleel White to the mix and you have a drinking game in which you take a shot and say “did I do that?” after every building collapse.

A megalodon battles with a crocosaurus causing massive destruction. The U.S. Army has to try and destroy the havoc creating monsters.

3. Amityville Island (2020)

Slasher meets possession meets a cult meets women in prison meets haunted house meets Jaws, let’s thrown in a creepy doll just for cliche’s sake. These worst shark movie titles are edging closer to being meta, this one gives a nod to both Jaws and The Amityville Horror.

A cursed survivor of killings at the Amityville house brings evil to a small island where bizarre genetic experiments are carried out on humans and animals in a secret women’s prison.

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2. 2-Headed Shark Attack 

Once the hair-flipping and beach towel poses are done, this one actually looks like a winner. With Carmen Electra and Brooke Hogan as headliners, it’s all downhill from here. Asylum put some thought into this one. It’s the very definition of a B-movie and the reason why we love them so much.

Survivors escape to a deserted atoll, after their boat during a Semester at Sea ship is sunk by a mutated two-headed shark. But when the atoll starts flooding, no one is safe from the double jaws of the monster.

1. Frenzy aka Surrounded (2018)

The money is in the cinematography in this The Shallows clone. This movie looks a little better than the rest on this list. Maybe that’s because the two leads Aubrey Reynolds and Gina Vitori aren’t the typical busty beach babe trope so often exploited in B-movies.

A group of friends run a popular travel vlog that helps fund their adventures. Paige (Gina Vitori), the leader of the group, includes her younger sister, Lindsey (Aubrey Reynolds), for the next scuba diving trip to an isolated cove. But when their plane crashes, the two sisters must use their strength, resourcefulness and immense courage to survive a pack of great white sharks.

Well that’s it. These are the worst rated shark movies on Letterboxd. Some are good some are bad, but all are fun. If you give one or all a watch let us know your thoughts. And as always, if we missed something let us know.

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9 Gory Horror Movies on Tubi Right Now 

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We love Tubi TV at iHorror, but navigating through their horror category is exhausting. It’s hard to know what’s worth watching and what’s filler, so we have gone through their enormous queue and found some gory movies that you can watch right now. Some are good, some are great, but that’s a matter of opinion. At least you don’t have to find them yourself.

Dead Snow (2009)

Nazis on ice? It’s an interesting choice, especially when said evil comrades are zombies. This horror-comedy is filled with gore, and although it might not be the best film on this list, it’s definitely a good time. The plot is mostly cut-and-paste, a group of friends decides to take a vacation to an isolated part of a nearby forest. They are soon interrupted by zombies from the Third Reich. This film has its tongue firmly planted in its cheek which means you don’t have to take the subject matter all too seriously.

Black Sheep (2006)

Ah, New Zealand horror. We love the sound of that. Their movies are quirky, comical, and outrageous. These are the exact qualities you will find in Black Sheep, an over-the-top blood bath in which cute, cuddly farm animals become blood-thirsty monsters. A science experiment goes off the rails and transforms a herd of timid sheep into a horde of unstoppable murderous beasts.

Laid to Rest (2009)

This great slasher is noteworthy for a few things. First, the killer is named ChromeSkull because of his metallic mask which is not only really cool but uniquely terrifying. Second, the practical makeup effects are gruesome and frighteningly realistic. There is one scene, in particular, that seems impossible to do without CGI. For exceptional kills and fast-paced action, Laid to Rest gets high marks for originality.

A young woman wakes up in a casket with no recollection of her past. She is pursued by a masked killer who uses a video camera to document his kills. Can she outsmart her pursuer before he takes her down?

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Terrifier (2016)

This Halloween staple is getting a sequel in October. Art the Clown tries to charm his victims without saying a word. This film is not only bloody, it’s unnerving. With some great performances and an extreme gore centerpiece, this one is not for the faint of heart.

The black and white painted fiend known as Art the Clown goes on a carnage-filled killing spree on Halloween night. He stalks three women who are shocked at what this menace is capable of.

House of Wax (2005)

Dark Castle Entertainment isn’t a production company we’ve heard from in a long time. With Joel Silver and Robert Zemeckis at the helm, they put out some great horror titles, House of Wax is one of them. A reboot of the 1953 Vincent Price classic of the same name, this version gets outrageously graphic. From fingers getting severed with snips, to Paris Hilton’s famous death scene, House of Wax delivers the thrills through convincing practical effects.

Again we have a group of young adults who embody all the horror movie tropes. They are on their way to a sporting event when suddenly their car breaks down. Looking for a mechanic, the group walks to a small town where the residents appear to be homebound. A wax museum displays realistic figures in different scenes around the house. This leads to some gory revelations and little room for escape.

House on Haunted Hill (2005)

Here’s another from the Dark Castle label. And again a name-only reboot of a Price classic. This one differs from the above in many ways. First, it’s not a group of teens in danger, it’s adults. And whereas House of Wax dealt with physical danger, House on Haunted Hill is supernatural. Gallons of blood are used in this gory, insane thrill ride.

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A diverse group of adults is invited to a birthday party at a large cliffside mansion. Once they get there strange things start to happen at the hands of their crazy host played by Geoffrey Rush. But when things start to happen on their own, the group is left to fight for their lives inside the massive stronghold that’s been sealed shut.

The Collector (2010)

There are a handful of bloody kills in this modern slasher. The intensity and traps laid throughout the house setting are extraordinary and give viewers a lot of what they came for: gore. The masked killer of the title is smarter than your average Jason and uses that to his advantage when trapping and killing his victims. This one is not only disturbing, it’s mesmerizing.

A former convict now handyman is desperate to save his wife from loan sharks. He decides to break into a client’s house and rob them of a valuable precious stone. What he doesn’t know is that a masked killer has already invaded the house, setting deadly traps throughout for unsuspecting guests. The handyman must navigate around them to save the remaining homeowners.

Feast (2005)

The amount of gore that goes into this monster opus is awe-inspiring. Practical effects are used throughout the film and it’s a wonderful sight to see. Although a bit ham-fisted, Feast is a non-stop carnage fest where blood flows like water. The creatures are incredible and there must be a limb torn off someone every two minutes. If you haven’t seen Feast, you’re not using Tubi to its full potential.

The plot is simple: A local bar is invaded by blood-thirsty creatures in the middle of the desert. The patrons must find a way to kill the monsters that can reproduce at an alarming rate.

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Land of the Dead (2005)

Writer/Director George Romero returned to his zombie roots in Land of the Dead. And just like his previous Dead films, there is plenty of gore. In fact, it’s rumored the director shot two versions of this film, an R-rated one for theaters and an unrated one for DVD. In actuality, he shot the whole film once, but used greenscreen elements to obscure the gore in theaters then removed those restrictions in post for the DVD. Genius.

This entry into Romero’s oeuvre takes place after the first three films. Humans have created a fortified safe space in Pittsburg as the undead have completely taken over the world. As the zombies start to free-think, they begin to assemble, ready to attack the living in their fortress. A team of mercenaries tries to keep the dead at bay, but their time is running out.

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‘Fair Game’ Trailer Brutally Combines ‘Mad Max’ With ‘I Spit On Your Grave’

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Fair

It has been entirely too long since we have seen a proper Ozploitation film. Dark Star Picture’s Fair Game looks to fix that by coming at us with fist cuffs ready to go and complete with classic gritty film aesthetic.

Fair Game really does have that entire packaged look – complete with grit, indie feel, pop zooms and all.

Fair Game looks to be a high-octane homage to Mad Max meets I Spit On Your Grave. It looks to be a film that takes no prisoners with its lead Cassandra Delaney ready to kick ass.

The synopsis for Fair Game goes like this:

A young woman running a wildlife sanctuary in the Australian outback is in for trouble when she is confronted by three kangaroo hunters. Bored with killing kangaroos, they decide to kill the animals in the sanctuary, and when they see how attractive the owner is, they decide to have a little “fun” with her, too. Turns out that they may get a bit more “fun” than they bargained for.

Fair Game stars Delaney, Peter Ford, David Sandford, Garry Who, and Don Barker in a film directed by Mario Andreacchio.

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The brutal slice of Ozploitation arrives in theaters on July 8 and on VOD beginning July 12.

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