While I could do a retrospective covering one of the craziest series of films of all time, I think it would be a little repetitive. While the films vary in quality, plot, and acting, they are still independent micro-budget splatter-fests. I wouldn’t want to waste your time explaining thing like shot-on-video, practical effects, and the history behind European film censorship for a review of each film. I wouldn’t do a great job of it anyway, so I will let Synapse Films do it themselves:
In 1980s Germany, horror film censorship was a huge problem. The government rarely let classic horror films pass without severe cuts when they were released on home video. To combat this unfortunate situation, many German horror fans scraped together a few bucks, rented video cameras and created their own ultra-violent, gory, splatter film epics. Arguably the most famous of these micro-budget German gorefests are the VIOLENT SHIT films from director Andreas Schnaas. Shot on standard definition video cameras, these films are a sight to behold. Although they are amateurishly made, choppily edited and loaded with ridiculous low-budget gore, these films have an undeniably offensive charm that has kept horror fans entertained for over 25 years!
So while I think they’re quote says enough, I will tell you why I love this set of films. I love the fact that they are historic in a strange and sick way. They possess a true gritty darkness that only old school underground films can possess. Due to the nature of the films and technology available, there is just something extra dirty about them that you have to see to believe. I love the old school gore work, especially the stuff that is so over-the-top that is ends up becoming hilarious as well as gruesome.
As far as the films go, they are pretty difficult to rank. For some strange reason, the third film really stands out in its attempt to expand the mythology a bit. While the fourth film doesn’t quite fit with the original three, due to the fact that it came out many years later, it still manages to up the ante in gore and sleaze. The first and second films fall in very close to one another, due to the fact that they seemed to be made with the most similar set of resources. While the first was the one that started it all, it is hard to see at times. The gore, however, manages to be timeless for this viewer who hadn’t watched it in years.
So don’t go setting my rankings in stone. After the first viewing of the films as a set, I can only do what I can. By the time I have rewatched them all, maybe by next year or maybe by next month, I may want to change the entire order. As of now, I have a strange amount of love for the third film in the series. I love what it did for the trilogy as far as expansion of mythology goes. Next comes the second film, which is a great sequel in regard to upping the ante on gore, disturbing plot points, and hilarious attempts at “stylistic” camerawork. So right now, I’m giving you the most ass backwards trilogy ranking you have probably ever seen. This is because I’m ranking them in reverse order. I really can’t get over the fact that film and sound quality of the first film is so bad. I know that there isn’t much material to restore from, so this isn’t on Synapse Films at all. I actually think they are kinda heroic for finally getting all of these films together in a set. The absolute only reason that fourth place goes to the fourth film is because it isn’t an old school shot-on-video splatter-fest. It doesn’t fit with the original set of films, but will surprise new viewers nonetheless.
You see, I love the fourth film too. It is a modern age splatter masterpiece. I love the ridiculous fight sequences. I think the gore is glorious in the higher definition age, giving us a glimpse at clear practical effects on screen. It is a film that would work excellently in the NecroStorm lineup. So while it may have my favorite relentlessly brutal final third, I can’t in my right mind rank it above any of the originals. I’m already sitting here, thinking that I actually may like the kills in the second film enough to go ahead and put it above the third film. So this is hard as hell. Maybe I should just say they all tie for first and give out individual awards. Best kills in part two, best story in part 3, most brutality in part 4, most important film in part 1, and a four way tie for worst acting throughout the series.
With all of that stupid shit being said, my favorite part of this set may not even be a film from the original series. The big bonus in this set was Zombie ’90: Extreme Pestilence. This was a film that was shot between the first and second Violent Shit films. It is an absolutely ridiculous zombie film that references Zombie and Dawn of the Dead. It also has an amazing US dubbing track that really makes the film. It is almost as if you’re watching it with Beavis and Butthead or the crew from MST3K. It also manages to have so much blood and such an insane amount of violence that it may be the high point of this set of me. Of course, like my first and second sets of ridiculous rankings, I could change my mind about it in the next five minutes.
So I’m going to shut the hell up before I change my mind again. I am only going to tell you once, that you need to get what may become the best horror set released this year. If you love murder, genital mutilation, serial killers, zombies, gory effects work, horror comedies, Germans, or all of the above, you will be like me and love all of these films. The set also has very fair pre-order release prices out there ranging from $20-30 bucks. So stop reading this awful rambling of a review and buy it.